Group A players to watch at the Asian Cup
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — AUSTRALIA
Tim Cahill — 35, attacking midfielder, New York Red Bulls. A veteran of 76 internationals and three World Cups, the former Everton star scored one of the most spectacular goals of the 2014 World Cup with his volley into the top of the Dutch net. Renowned for his aerial threat and dangerous close to the goal mouth and off set pieces. With 36 goals, he is Australia’s leading scorer.
Robbie Kruse — 26, forward, Bayer Leverkusen. Kruse missed the 2014 World Cup due to an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Since making his Australia debut at the 2011 Asian Cup, he’s earned praise for his pace and unpredictability. Has three goals from his 32 international appearances.
Tommy Oar — 23, winger, FC Utrecht. Oar has often been compared with former Australia winger Harry Kewell due to his surging runs and ability to set up play around the goal. Missed out on the 2014 World Cup squad, but has proved a dangerous impact player off the bench.
Son Heung-min — 22, winger, Bayer Leverkusen. Son was one of the few South Korean players praised for their efforts at the 2014 World Cup, where he scored in a 4-2 loss to Algeria. Has proved he can play in a variety of attacking positions and is an extremely dangerous finisher in front of goal.
Ki Sung-yueng — 25, central midfielder, Swansea City. A clinical playmaker, Ki is known for his long, pin-point accurate passes and shooting ability. He has played 66 matches for South Korea since making his international debut in 2010, including all three group games at the 2014 World Cup.
Koo Ja-cheol — 25, midfielder, Mainz 05. Koo was the 2011 Asian Cup’s top scorer with five goals. He’s tall, quick and elusive and has the ability to consistently wrong-foot opposing defenders.
Bader Al Motawaa — 29, forward, Qadsia. Al Motawaa is a veteran of 149 internationals and has been a mainstay of the Kuwait team since his debut at the 2003 Gulf Cup. Normally playing up front, Al Motawaa has scored 47 goals for Kuwait.
Yousef Naser — 24, forward, Kazma. Naser is a prolific scorer for Kuwait with 27 goals from 59 matches. A veteran of the 2011 Asian Cup, he will be heavily relied on to add some fire power in front of goal.
Waleed Ali — 34, midfielder, Kuwait City. A veteran of more than 100 internationals, Ali is playing at his third Asian Cup. Impressive in a brief loan period with Iran Pro League club Esteghlal.
Ali Al-Habsi — 33, goalkeeper, Wigan Athletic. Oman captain Al-Habsi was named Wigan’s player of the 2010-11 season while on loan before signing a permanent deal with the club. Has been Oman’s principal goalkeeper at four consecutive Gulf Cups and was the first choice ’keeper at Oman’s last Asian Cup appearance.
Eid Al Farsi — 27, attacking midfielder, Al Oruba. Al Farsi has scored four goals for Oman since his debut in 2010 and took part in the qualification campaigns for the 2013 Gulf Cup, the 2014 World Cup and the 2015 Asian Cup.
Ahmed Mubarak — 29, defensive midfielder, Al-Oruba. Mubarak has been a mainstay in the Oman defense since 2003, playing more than 100 internationals. Has proven his worth in five Gulf Cups.