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AFC Asian Cup: Australia, South Korea set to dominate Group A

IANS
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1.78K   //    04 Jan 2015, 17:40 IST
Australia AFC Asian Cup
Australian Coach Ange Postecoglou and Mark Bresciano during a press conference before an Australian Socceroos Asian Cup training session 

Melbourne, Jan 4 Australia and South Korea look odds-on favorites in Group A, which also includes Oman and Kuwait, to qualify for the knockout stage at the AFC Asian Cup starting here Jan 9. As the hosts, Australia will look to impress in front of their home fans, reports Xinhua.

Australia might have torrid time in the 2014 World Cup losing three back-to-back games but in Asia they are still a powerhouse. Former Everton striker Tim Cahill will lead the attack for the Aussies. Besides Cahill, Mark Bresciano, Robbie Kruse and Mathew Ryan are some of the other big names set to star.

In the 2011 Asian Cup, Australia lost to Japan 0-1 in the final and will look to set the record straight on home soil.

The South Koreans 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. Besides Park Ji-Sung, Son Heung-Min, a 22-year-old striker can set the tournament ablaze.

South Korea is far more than one-man team as some people regard. Midfielder Ki Sung-Yong from English side Swansea and Kim Young Gwon who played for Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao Football Club are some of the other key names in the squad.

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

The other two teams, Oman and Kuwait, will find it difficult to get past the group stage and winning a game may be a realistic plan for them.

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