Lebanon have yet to make an impact in Asia and the only time they have enjoyed the limelight of the continental stage came in 2000 when they hosted the AFC Asian Cup, failing to progress beyond the group stage with just two points from three matches.
Despite the results, it reignited the footballing passion across the Middle East country with the national team making consistent progress. Having struggled in the preliminary qualifying stages for the FIFA World Cup™ before, they went a giant step further when they nearly toppled group favorites Korea Republic in the Asian Zone's second qualifying round for 2006 Germany.
In the opening away game against Korea Republic, Lebanon proved resilient and their hopes soared when they were awarded a penalty in the 31st minute. However, Mohammad Kassas' shot was tipped over and the chance went begging. The game ended 2-0 for the Koreans but Lebanon showed they were more than capable of springing a surprise.
They had few problems in the next three fixtures, with a 2-0 defeat of Vietnam followed by back-to-back wins over the Maldives. In the penultimate match they bravely held the visiting Korea Republic 1-1 to keep their qualifying hopes alive.
The hopes, though, were slim as they not only had to defeat Vietnam in the last match but also needed the Maldives to at least draw against Korea Republic. Their dreams were shattered as they could only manage a goalless draw against Vietnam at home while the Koreans cruised to the last eight with a 2-0 victory.
Lebanon football had a hard time in 2006 which saw them withdraw from the qualifying campaign for the 2007 Asian Cup because of the political turmoil. But things are not totally negative with a host of young talents quickly coming up the ranks, including the striking duo of Abbas Atwi and Mohammed Kassas.
Despite their determination to improve, however, a lack of preparation and competitive games in the build-up to the campaign took a toll, as coach Emile Rustom's side lost six straight matches to receive the wooden spoon.