x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Ali fancies Kuwait's chances ahead of 100th game

Waleed Ali of Kuwait is set to join the exclusive 100-caps club today when the midfielder takes the field in his country¿s Asian Cup opener against China.

Waleed Ali of Kuwait is set to join the exclusive 100-caps club today when the midfielder takes the field in his country's Asian Cup opener against China.

The location is fitting for the Al Kuwait club player; he made his international debut in Qatar at the West Asian Games in April 2002.

"I'm very happy to be joining the 100-caps club as it is a great individual achievement," said Ali, 30.

He will be the fifth Kuwaiti to win 100 caps, and the 174th in football history. Kuwait may be the bottom seeds in Group A, but few teams enter the tournament with as much recent success as Goran Tufegdzic's rejuvenated side.

In October they won the West Asian Football Federation Championship in their first appearance, defeating Iran 2-1 in the final.

They carried that momentum into the Gulf Cup in Yemen last month and emerged with their 10th trophy in the event's history - and first since 1998 - after defeating Saudi Arabia 1-0 victory in the final. Ali scored the winning goal.

"We can consider ourselves as one of the favourites at the AFC Asian Cup as we have won two championships in the last couple of months," Ali said.

"We may not have won a lot of titles in recent years, but after our recent success there is now a feeling in the team that we can challenge to win this tournament as well."