AFC : 18 APRIL, 2021, 11:13 AM
Big-game bicycle kicks, goals from half-way and goalkeeping heroics were just some of outstanding moments produced by Asian players outside the continent over the past week, but who shone brightest of them all?
Mehdi Taremi lit up the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with a goal of the season contender, while Uzbekistan’s Igor Sergeev produced a screamer of his own in a week where big names like Son, Azmoun and Kamada all starred in their respective leagues.
So, who will take this week’s crown? Take a close look at our nominees – based on performances from April 8 to 14 – and, as ever, don’t forget to register your vote.
Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto, IR Iran)
20 minutes, 1 goal (2-0 v Tondela)
33 minutes, 1 goal, 100% pass accuracy (1-0 v Chelsea)
Mehdi Taremi has had Asian fans talking for much of the last two years, but he had the attention of the world on Tuesday, scoring a majestic bicycle kick in the final moments of Porto’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Chelsea. His second goal in four days, Taremi’s wondergoal sadly couldn’t keep Porto in the competition.
Daichi Kamada (Eintracht Frankfurt, Japan)
90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist, 88% pass accuracy (4-3 v VfL Wolfsburg)
Japan’s Daichi Kamada was at the heart of the action in a Bundesliga goalfest between Eintracht Frankfurt and Wolfsburg, scoring once and setting one another. Kamada has now contributed five goals and four assists in his last eight matches for club and country.
Sardar Azmoun (Zenit, IR Iran)
90 minutes, 2 goals, 5 shots on target (2-1 v Sochi)
Away from home in a difficult league match, and 1-0 down with half an hour remaining, Sardar Azmoun dragged his side over the finish line with a fabulous 17-minute brace, putting Zenit seven points clear in the title race.
Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur, Korea Republic)
90 minutes, 1 goal, 5 shot assists, 92% pass accuracy (1-3 v Manchester United)
A first Premier League goal in two months was only part of the story in a match where Son Heung-min was involved in a number of the game’s biggest talking points, but he also made several chances for his teammates with his highest tally of shot assists in six matches.
Igor Sergeev (Aktobe, Uzbekistan)
82 minutes, 1 goal, 88% pass accuracy (4-4 v Ordabasy Shymkent0
66 minutes, 2 shots at goal (2-1 v Kyzyl-Zhar)
Former Pakhtakor striker Igor Sergeec is quickly making a name for himself in Kazakhstan. He stunned fans with a sensational 50-yard goal against Ordabasy, providing the best moment of a match which produced no less than eight goals.
Ali Alipour (Maritimo, IR Iran)
90 minutes, 1 goal, 3 interceptions (1-0 v Farense)
A long-awaited first goal in Portuguese football for Ali Alipour proved decisive for Maritimo in their match against Farense on Saturday, with the Iranian forward showing the poacher’s instincts that made him a star at Persepolis.
Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo, IR Iran)
90 minutes, 5 saves, 3 reflex saves (1-0 v Farense)
While Alipour was the match-winner in attack, his countryman Amir Abedzadeh was the star of the show at the opposite end of the pitch, making a number of excellent saves to keep a richly deserved clean sheet.
Koki Anzai (Portimonense, Japan)
90 minutes, 59 touches, 77% pass accuracy, 7 recoveries (3-0 v Vitória Guimarães)
A first AFC International Player of the Week nomination for former AFC Champions League winner Koki Anzai, who showed his quality in attack and defence as Portimonense eased to a 3-0 win in Portugal.
Junya Ito (KRC Genk, Japan)
62 minutes, 1 assist, 3 shot assists, 5 successful dribbles (4-0 v Sint-Truiden)
Junya Ito’s outstanding form in Belgium continues with another fine showing, setting up Genk’s second goal in their 4-0 victory over a Sint-Truiden side who fielded three of his countrymen. Ito has scored four goals and set up five in his last five matches for club and country.
Hwang Ui-jo (Bordeaux, Korea Republic)
90 minutes, 1 goal, 94% pass accuracy (1-4 Saint-Etienne)
Even in defeat, the goals continue to flow for Korean striker Hwang Ui-jo. He converted a penalty to make it five in his last four Ligue 1 matches, his best run in European football since making the move from Gamba Osaka in 2019.
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