December 29, 2018 / 9:03 AM / 6 months ago

FACTBOX-Soccer-Bahrain at the Asian Cup

Dec 29 (Reuters) - Factbox on Bahrain ahead of the Asian Cup, which takes place in the United Arab Emirates from Jan 5 to Feb 1:

FIFA world ranking: 113

Ranking in Asia: 20

Previous Asian Cups: 5

Best performance: Fourth place (2004)

2015: Group stage

Nickname: The Red

Coach: Miroslav Soukup

Regular captain: Sayed Mohamed Jaffer

Player to watch: Ali Madan

Recent form:

Sept 10 Bahrain 0-0 China Riffa

Oct 11 Bahrain 0-1 Syria Riffa

Oct 16 Bahrain 4-1 Myanmar Riffa

Nov 19 Oman 2-1 Bahrain Muscat

Dec 20 Bahrain 5-0 Tajikistan Riffa

Dec 27 Bahrain 1-0 Lebanon Riffa

Fixtures:

Group A

Jan 5 United Arab Emirates v Bahrain Abu Dhabi

Jan 10 Bahrain v Thailand Dubai

Jan 14 India v Bahrain Sharjah

Bahrain are appearing at a fifth consecutive Asian Cup but Miroslav Soukup’s side will be hard pushed to emulate the achievements of their more illustrious predecessors despite their relatively straight forward progress to the finals.

The country reached the semi-finals in 2004 before narrowly missing out on qualifying for the World Cup finals in both 2006 and 2010.

The talent in the current squad falls short of those levels, however, and Bahrain are unlikely to be among the challengers at the business end of the tournament. (Compiled by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)

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