2015 AFC Asian Cup Preview: Three-time Champions Iran, UAE favorites for Group C

Santino Honasan on Jan 08, 2015 11:35 AM
2015 AFC Asian Cup Preview: Three-time Champions Iran, UAE f
(Photo Courtesy of www.afcasiancup.com) Top Asian team Iran will look to back their status up in this years AFC Asian Cup

We move on with our 2015 AFC Asian Cup preview as we take a look at Group C, composed of IR Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Bahrain.

 

IRAN

The Sirane Iran are coming into the tournament as the highest FIFA-ranked Asian team at 51st, and will be making a record-tying 13th AFC Asian Cup stint thanks to their first place finish in Group B of the Asian Cup Qualifiers back in 2013. The former three-time champs are looking to end an almost four-decade long title drought and leading the charge is veteran team captain Javad Nekounam.

AFC Asian Cup Appearances/Finishes

-          1968: Champions

-          1972: Champions

-          1976: Champions

-          1980: Third Place

-          1984: Fourth Place

-          1988: Third Place

-          1992: Group Stage

-          1996: Third Place

-          2000: Quarterfinals

-          2004: Third Place

-          2007: Quarterfinals

-          2011: Quarterfinals

 

 

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

The Al-Abayad of the United Arab Emirates are making their eight AFC Asian Cup appearance after finishing atop Group E in the qualifiers back in 2013. Currently ranked as 85th in the world by FIFA, the UAE club will look to improve their ranking by hoisting their first ever Asian Cup title this year. This generally young UAE squad will be led by 23-year old captain Omar Abdulrahman and current leading scorer Ahmed Khalil.

AFC Asian Cup Appearances/Finishes

-          1980: Group Stage

-          1984: Group Stage

-          1988: Group Stage

-          1992: Fourth Place

-          1996: Runners-up

-          2004: Group Stage

-          2007: Group Stage

-          2011: Group Stage

 

QATAR

Qatar’s Al-Annabi booked their trip to the 2015 Asian Cup tournament following their second place finish in Group D of the qualifiers. The eight-time entrants have made it to the quarterfinals in 2000 and in 2011. The 85th-world ranked squad will look to capture their first ever Asian Cup trophy this year, behind the efforts of captain and current leading scorer, 2006 Asian Player of the Year Khalfan Ibrahim.

AFC Asian Cup Appearances/Finishes

-          1980: Group Stage

-          1984: Group Stage

-          1988: Group Stage

-          1992: Group Stage

-          2000: Quarterfinals

-          2004: Group Stage

-          2007: Group Stage

-          2011: Quarterfinals

 

BAHRAIN

Making their fifth Asian Cup entry this year, the Al-Ahmar of Bahrain will be looking to go beyond their Group Stage finish during the 2011 tournament by continuing the momentum of their first-place finish in Group D of the qualifiers. Veteran captain Mohamed Husain and current leading scorer Ismail Abdul-Latif will be leading the way for the 122nd world-ranked The Red.

AFC Asian Cup Appearances/Finishes

-          1988: Group Stage

-          2004: Fourth Place

-          2007: Group Stage

-          2011: Group Stage

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