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Puerto Montt: Syria were swept aside 4-1 by an impressive Paraguay on Monday as the West Asians conceded twice either side of half-time to make a losing start to their 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup campaign.

Jorge Morel put Paraguay one up on the half-hour mark at the Estadio Chinquihue before the Club Guarani youth team defender turned provider as Julio Villalba scored the South Americans’ second four minutes later.

Anas Al Aji, who found the net three times at the 2014 AFC U-16 Championship, reduced the deficit in the 62nd minute but after David Colman had restored Paraguay’s two-goal cushion just three minutes later substitute Sebastian Ferreira struck on the stroke of full time to complete the resounding win for the 1999 FIFA U-17 World Championship quarter-finalists.

"Congratulations to Paraguay, we tried to score early, our defence made some mistakes and cost us two goals in the first half,” conceded Syria coach Mohamed Al Attar in his post-match press conference.

“We tried to return in the second half with an improved performance after the goal, but the third goal for Paraguay was decisive in determining the winner.” 

Paraguay coach Carlos Jara, meanwhile, admitted that despite the ultimately convincing scoreline he was taken aback by the strong showing of the 2014 AFC U-16 Championship semi-finalists.

"The game was complicated, our team was nervous a little bit, but with scoring goals things improved,” said the 59-year-old, who led Paraguay’s under 23s to a silver medal finish at the 2004 Olympic Games.

“We must correct the mistakes. I was surprised by Syria's performance, we haven't a lot of information on them. Today the crowd helped us to raise our spirit.”

Syria will be looking to get their campaign back on track on Thursday when they take on a New Zealand side who lost 6-1 to France in their opening Group F fixture in Monday’s earlier match at the Estadio Chinquihue.

Photo: FIFA/Getty Images