Maâloul confident Syria will be ready for Group A challenge
Tunis: Syria national team head coach Nabil Maâloul is confident he has enough time to prepare the West Asian side for the resumption of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Asian Qualifiers.
Matchdays 7 and 8 of the Asian Qualifiers are due to take place on October 8 and 13 while Matchdays 9 and 10 are now scheduled for November 12 and 17.
Kuala Lumpur: With vital clashes in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 looming later in the year, only three nations remain unscathed in their quest for a place in the third phase of the fight for a place in the Finals.
A perfect five wins from five games has marked Syria out not only as the leaders of Group A ahead of China PR but sees the West Asian nation stand tallest across the entirety of the qualifying phase with the best return to date.
Kuala Lumpur: The best XI of the 2016 AFC Champions League was decided last week, so now the-AFC.com turns to the next chapter of the Continent's most prestigious club tournament, the 2017 edition, to determine the best 11 players.
To select the candidates for each position, we have reflected on match data from the tournament to draw up a statistics-based approach to present the outstanding performers.
We begin with five candidates for the all-important number one shirt. Review the nominees and then choose your favourite goalkeeper to helm the rearguard for this all-star XI in the poll below.
Magical Moments: Ali Daei vs Korea Republic (1996 AFC Asian Cup)
Kuala Lumpur: There are certain football matches that, despite the ravages of time, are destined to be remembered by supporters no matter how many years have passed.
These permanent fixtures in a fan’s memory bank can be lodged there thanks to a glorious last-minute winner, a sterling come-from-behind victory or – in the case of Islamic Republic of Iran icon Ali Daei – a superb virtuoso display.
Midway through 1996 Daei, then aged 27, had only scored seven of his eventual 109 goals for his country, but the next six months would produce 22 international goals, including one of the greatest individual performances in the history of Asian football.
Kuala Lumpur: With well in excess of 100,000 fans casting their votes in our Asia’s Greatest Players polls in recent weeks, the attention turns to the top level of football in the Netherlands, and a league where numerous Asian players have excelled - the Eredivisie.
Joining us to examine the nine-man shortlist announced on Friday is Jeroen Kapteijns, a seasoned football journalist for De Telegraaf, the country’s largest daily newspaper.
There is much to discuss, but when it comes to the core question of which nominee should be considered the continent’s most impactful player in Dutch football, Kapteijns found himself unable to separate two East Asian stars.
Kuala Lumpur: The birthplace of total football, and the country that launched the careers of some of the game’s most influential figures, the Netherlands is a country with a proud footballing tradition.
But while a long list of Dutch stars have become household names, the country also has a history of welcoming some of Asia’s outstanding players.
From 1980s pioneers like Huh Jung-moo and Fandi Ahmad to the stars of the modern game, the Eredivisie has played host to some of the continent’s best and brightest, making it a league of interest for generations of Asian fans.
Our list features several title winners and a league top goal scorer, but which of these icons deserves the title of Asia’s best?