Socceroo talisman Tim Cahill believes home advantage and playing in front of local crowds will give Australia the edge in a tough group at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.
Australia has been drawn alongside Korea, Oman and Kuwait in Group A. The tournament kicks off in Melbourne in January and will be the third Asian Cup campaign for the Socceroos.
Cahill said the upcoming World Cup in Brazil will provide the Australian team with excellent preparation heading into the Asian competition six months later.
“The Asian group’s really difficult but I’m a strong believer in that whoever we would have got would have been tough,” he said.
“It’ a different sort of toughness in the fact that it’s an Asian group, but with the preparation of a World Cup, and the togetherness, and obviously finding our style and what we’re all about in this World Cup, is going to put us in good stead for an Asian Cup.”
The New York Red Bulls midfielder, who has played against the Koreans and Omanis in the past, said the Socceroos will have to be wary against all three opponents.
“Korea is obviously the hardest team everyone looks to,” he said.
“I remember the stumbles that we’ve had against Oman but again, Kuwait can come from anywhere and cause an upset.”
With Australia hosting the Asian Cup, Cahill feels the Socceroos will receive a big boost and go into the tournament aiming to win it.
“One of the biggest things I want to concentrate on is filling the stadiums, and this is at home,” the 34-year old said.
“Every game is a home game. I feel every time we’ve played at home in the Asian games, any sort of Asian game at home I feel, we’ve had the upper hand.
“I’m looking forward to it and I’m excited because I’ve had a lot of joy against Asian teams in my career. At the same time you basically want to do your best and play your best to try and win a tournament like that.”comments