Amman: Syria advanced to the play-offs for the 2012 London Olympics with a comfortable 3-0 win over Malaysia on Wednesday that saw Hitham Jatal's side finish runners-up to qualifiers Japan.
Syria, who had defeated Japan 2-1 in earlier in the campaign, went into the match played in Jordan due to the current security issues in Syria in a strong position to claim the second spot ahead of a Bahrain side that needed to beat Japan in Tokyo by a substantial margin to finish runners-up on goal difference.
But the Syrians took charge of their own Olympic destiny with a strong second-half performance to consign the SEA Games gold medalists to the foot of the table with six successive defeats.
Mardek Mardkian broke the deadlock at the King Abdullah International Stadium three minutes in the second-half before the Bahrain-based striker got his second in the 68th minute.
Second-half substitute Omar Al Suma, who replaced Hussein Al Jwayed after the interval, sealed the win with ten minutes left to play.