Al Shamrani out of Asian Cup

Nasser Al Shamrani has been ruled out Saudi Arabia's Asian Cup campaign with injury.

Head coach Cosmin Olaroiu stated earlier on Friday that the Al Hilal striker was a doubt for the nation's Group B opener with China in Brisbane on Saturday. 

Al Shamrani suffered a recurrence of an unknown injury in a 2-0 friendly defeat to South Korea last Sunday. 

It has now been confirmed he will miss the tournament and has been replaced in the squad by Ibrahim Ghaleb of Al Nassr. 

The news is a blow to Olaroiu, who was only appointed to the role last month. 

Olaroiu may have only been in the job for a short period of time, but the Romanian, who acknowledges the challenge posed by China, does not believe that will adversely affect the three-time champions.

"We have to face the strongest opponent in the group in the first game," he added.

"I saw them, they are a very strong team. They've changed a lot from the qualification games but they have a very good coach, they are organised and we're going to have a difficult game. 

"We'll try to fix some problems we have had in the last few days. We'll try to be in the best shape we can in the first game. Of course at this level, they are all good. We cannot say that one is stronger than the other one. 

"The time I have spent until now has helped me a lot in understanding the players and how they play. Of course any coach wants to have more time to prepare the team. We have had this short time together and I will try to do my best."