Team Melli will be facing a tough task against 3 well prepared team in Group C of the AFC Asian Cup 2015 Australia.
With all the 3 opponents starting their preparation at least six months ahead of the competition and playing numerous friendly games, Team Mell has only managed one game against South Korea in Tehran while a scheduled match against Palestine was canceled in Azadi by the guests. Team Melli should have one last friendly against Iraq in Sydney.
On paper , Qatar is considered the favorite to qualify or top the group. Iran & UAE have equal chances to join the Qatari team while Bahrain is not been given much hope by the experts after their poor showing in the Gulf Cup and going through their 3rd coaching changes in a short time.
Exciting Al Ain playmaker Omar Abdulrahman has been included in the 24-man United Arab Emirates squad for next month’s AFC Asian Cup in Australia.
23-year-old Abdulrahman played a key role in Al Ain’s progress to the AFC Champions League semifinals this year. He has been selected in the squad by coach Madhi Ali, despite not having played competitive football since sustaining an injury during last month’s Gulf Cup. UAE were defeated 3-2 by eventual runners-up Saudi Arabia in the semifinals.
“Omar Abdulrahman is fine, his doctor reports he has started jogging. He needs five to seven days to get back to full fitness,” coach Ali told the official AFC Asian Cup website.
UAE are in the all-West Asian Group C of the elite continental competition along with fancied Iran — who impressed at June’s World Cup in Brazil — and neighbours Bahrain plus Gulf Cup winners Qatar.
Ali has named six players who were not part of the Gulf Cup squad for the elite continental competition beginning in January. Al Ahli goalkeeper Majed Nasser and Al Wahda centre-back Hamdan Al Kamali have been recalled to the side.
UAE will play friendlies against Jordan and Kuwait after reaching Australia on Wednesday. After the friendlies, Ali will trim his squad down to 23 players.
UAE — who reached the final of the competition in 1996 when they were hosts — take on Qatar on Jan. 11 in their first group game in Canberra.
Goalkeepers Majed Nasser, Ali Khaseif, Khalid Essa,
Defenders: Mohammed Fawzi, Abdulaziz Haikal, Abdulaziz Sanqour, Hamdan Al Kamali, Mohamed Ahmed, Ismail Ahmed, Mohanad Salem,
Midfielders: Ismail Al Hammadi, Hassan Ibrahim, Majed Hassan, Khamis Esmail, Habib Fardan, Amer Abdulrahman, Haboosh Saleh, Mohamed Abdulrahman, Omar Abdulrahman,
Forwards: Ali Mabkhout, Ahmed Khalil, Salem Saleh, Saeed Al Kathiri
Doha: Experienced striker Sebastian Soria was left out of Qatar’s 23-man squad for next month’s Asian Cup with the Gulf Cup winners instead opting for uncapped African-born forwards Tresor Kangambu and Mohammad Montari.
Soria won his 100th cap for Qatar in October and marked the milestone by scoring in a 3-0 success over fellow Asian Cup finalists Uzbekistan but it was not enough to make the squad for the Gulf Cup tournament the following month.
The 31-year-old has continued to score goals for Qatar Stars League champions Lekhwiya but national team head coach Djamel Belmadi opted against a recall when he named his travelling party for the Jan 9-31 tournament in Australia.
The Algerian instead went for the Congolese-born Kangambu, a wide forward who plays alongside Soria at the league leaders, and El Jaish’s striker Montari, who was born in Ghana.
The 27-year-old Kangambu moved to Qatar four years ago, while 21-year-old Montari has been in a rich vein of form for his club side in recent weeks. The duo joined Asian Player of the Year nominee Khalfan Ibrahim in the squad after the Al Sadd playmaker was recalled after he missed the Gulf Cup because of injury. Qatar have been drawn in an all West Asian Group C in Australia alongside Bahrain, Iran and United Arab Emirates.
The Maroons faceD final warm-up matches against Estonia , which saw them easily win 3-0 and Oman next week before they kick-off their campaign in Canberra on Jan. 11 against the UAE.
The 2022 World Cup hosts staged the Asian Cup four years ago, matching their tournament best showing of a quarter-final berth in 2000.
Goalkeepers: Saad Al Sheeb (Al Sadd), Ahmed Sufyan (El Jaish), Qasem Burhan (Al Gharafa)
Defenders: Ahmadi Ali Mukhtar (Al Sadd), Abdelkarim Hassan (Al Sadd), Ibrahim Majid (Al Sadd), Mohammed Musa (Lekhwiya), Khalid Muftah (Lekhwiya), Abdulrahman Issa (El Jaish), Bilal Mohammed (Al Gharafa)
Midfielders: Khalfan Ibrahim (Al Sadd), Ali Assadalla (Al Sadd), Karim Boudiaf (Lekhwiya), Mohammed Muntari (El Jaish), Majed Mohammed (El Jaish), Khaled Al Zereiqi (El Jaish), Boualem Khoukhi (Al Arabi), Abdulaziz Hatem (Al Arabi), Ahmed Abdul Maqsood (Umm Salal)
Hassan Al Haidos (Al Sadd), Ismaeel Mohammad (Lekhwiya), Mohammed Tresor Abdullah (Lekhwiya), Meshal Abdullah (Al Ahli)
The Bahrain national soccer team arrived yesterday in Balart City, Australia, for their second training camp ahead of the 2015 Asia Cup to be held in Australia from January 9 to 31.
Bahrain are in Group ‘C’ with Iran, Qatar and the UAE.
Bahrain completed their first training camp in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday and the second camp will run till January 7.
The team will play its first friendly match tomorrow against Saudi Arabia.
They held their first practice session yesterday evening under the supervision of national coach Marjan Eid and his assistant Isa Al Sadoon. The team warmed up and worked out some tactical moves while the goalkeepers trained separately under goalkeepering caoch Abdulla Belal.
Faisal Bu Dahoom and Abdulla Abdo also trained separately under physical fitness trainer Deen Taylor as they are yet to fully recover from recent injuries.
The team will have an early evening training session before the friendly game tomorrow.
Coach Eid has included all three professional players – Fawzi Ayesh, Abdulla Omar and Jessi John – in the squad which was cut from 27 to 23 before leaving for Kuala Lumpur.
The trio were not selected by the previous coach Adnan Hamad of Iraq for the 22nd Gulf Cup held in Riyadh in October. Bahrain failed to qualify for the knock-out stage and coach Hamad was sacked.
The best position of Bahrain was in the 2004 edition in China where they were ranked 4th. Bahrain has a player nicknamed “Karimi” after the famous Iranian player Ali Karimi.
Goalkeepers :Sayed Mohamed Jaafar (Muharraq) Ashraf Waheed (Manama), and Hamad Al-Dosari (Al Riffa)
Defenders : Mohammed Hussain (Al Nasr KSA), Hussain Baba (Al Kuwait FC KWI), Rashid Al-Houti (Al Busaiteen) , Abdullah Al-Hazza (Al Hidd) , Faisal Ali Budahoom (Al Riffa) , Mohammed Daij (Al Riffa), Walid Al Hayyam (Muharraq)
Midfielders: Abdullah Yusuf (East Riffa), Abdulla Abdo (Al Riffa), Abdullah Shallal (Al Riffa), Sami Al-Husseini (Al Busaiteen) , Abdullah Omar(Al Riffa), Fawzi Ayesh (Al Saliyya QAT), Abdul Wahab Almalood (Al Hidd)
Forwards : Ismail Abdullatif (Al Nahdha KSA), Abdulwahab Ali, Syed Zia Saeed Muharraq) , Seyed Ahmed Jaffar “Karimi” (Al Busaiteen), Jaycee John Okwunwanne (Al Khraityat QAT), Mohammed Tayeb (Al Najma)