Asian Cup preview: Australia, South Korea to dominate Group A

January 5, 2015 5:27 am 

BEIJING, Jan. 4 — Most people may tend to rate Australia and South Korea as the favorites in Group A to qualify for the knockout stage at the Asian Cup while Oman and Kuwait have little chance to progress.

As the host, the Aussies have bright prospects in front of their home fans. Although Australia has suffered three-game losing streak in 2014 World Cup, in Asian stage they still have advantages.

In attacking line, veteran Tim Cahill is always ready to score. Besides Cahill, Mark Bresciano, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Ryan are set to hit stride.

In 2011 Asian Cup, the Aussies lost to Japan 1-0 in the final. Now, they will try their best to claim the title on home soil.

The South Korea confederation appointed Uli Stielike as the national coach after the sacking of Hong Myung-Bo. But Stielike failed to impress in the team's friendly matches.

Who is the ace of South Korea after Park Ji-Sung? The answer is Son Heung-Min. The 22-year-old prolific striker now has scored five goals from 16 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen in German Bundesliga.

As a top team in Asia, South Korea is far more than one-man team, the midfielder Ki Sung-Yong from English side Swansea will give full support for Son Heung-Min, and Kim Young Gwon who played for Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club will provide solid defense.

And the third game between Australia and South Korea is likely to be a decisive game for the first place in the group.

The other two teams, Oman and Kuwait, are hardly to cause upsets. It looks difficult for them to enter the next round, winning a game may be a realistic plan for them. (PNA/Xinhua)

SCS/SSC

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