Sydney: Oman goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi on Monday said Tim Cahill remained one of the best strikers around as he prepares to resume battle with the Australian at the Asian Cup.
Al Habsi, who knows Cahill only too well from both the Premier League and Oman`s clashes with the Socceroos, said Cahill`s form at 35 years old was impressive.
Stand-in captain Cahill scored one of the great World Cup goals in Brazil last year and on Friday, set Australia on their way to a 4-1 win over Kuwait.
"He`s a class player. It`s great to see Tim in this competition. He`s 35 now, he`s kept himself fit and it`s always a pleasure to play against him," Al Habsi said.
"But I think he`s always scoring against me! Of course it`s going to help me to know him, his career with the Premier League or with the national team."
Cahill will lead the Socceroos, in the absence of injured skipper Mile Jedinak, against Oman in Sydney on Tuesday as they seek a win which could put them into the last eight.
Oman are fighting for their lives after losing 1-0 to South Korea in their opening game, in which they were denied a strong penalty appeal and nearly scored at the death.
English-based Al Habsi said Oman, who have won one and drawn two of their last three games against Australia, would have to know how to deal with the New York Red Bulls forward.
"I know how classy he is, especially how he finishes with headers or the way he jumps, how strong he is and how confident in the box, his experience," the goalkeeper said.
"For me he`s one of the best strikers I`ve played against in the world. He always causes problems in the box... This kind of player, you have to take care of him."