Football

AFC Champions League quarter-finals: players to look out for

The AFC website has shed light on the most influential attacking players in the Asian Champions League ahead of the eagerly-awaited quarter-final games.

AFC Champions League quarter-finals: players to look out for
MUSTAFA ABUMUNES AFP

The Asian Football Confederation website has published an article highlighting the names of significant attacking players in the ongoing AFC Champions League, who have been endangering opponents' nets and have played important roles in the qualification of their teams for the quarter-finals.

The four teams representing the western region have already qualified for the quarter-finals of the competition, with Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia set to play against their domestic rivals Al-Ahli on Wednesday while Iranians Persepolis will face Pakhtakor of Uzbekistan.

Al-Ahli's Marko Marin:

The German winger scored the winning goal for his team in the third round against Iraqis Al-Shorta to help his side secure the first spot in the round of 16, two games before the group stage came to an end. In the first knockout stage they encountered Shabab Al-Ahli of Dubai, whom they defeated 4-3 on penalties to qualify for the quarter-finals.

The 31-year-old player, who has won the Europa League with Sevilla and Chelsea, joined Al-Ahli from Red Star Belgrade last January and has managed to achieve impressive numbers in the 2020 ACL, creating 10 chances.

Perspolis's Bashar Resan:

Although he is still 23 years old, the Iraqi midfielder has gained enough experience to make an impact in the ACL this year after winning the AFC U23 Championship with Iraq in 2014 and the AFC Cup with Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya in 2016.

Resan scored the winner in the third round against Al-Taawon to help his team qualify top of Group C before beating Al-Sadd 1-0 in the round of 16.

Pakhtakor's Jaloliddin Masharipov:

Paktakhor have returned to the quarter-finals of the ACL for the first time since 2009 with a huge role played by the 27-year-old Jaloliddin Masharipov in the team's successful campaign. Masharipov, who joined Pakhtakor in 2013 and is the main pillar in the team's squad, scored the first goal for his team in the tournament and the winner in the last round of group-stage matches against Shahr Khodro.

Masharipov has created 20 chances, seven more than Al-Sadd's star Akram Afif, and managed to complete 29 successful dribbles.

Al-Nassr's Abdulrazaq Hamdallah:

Sin tituloNassr's forward Abderrazak Hamdallah celebrates his goal during the AFC Champions League Round of 16 match between Saudi's Al-Nassr and Saudi's Al-Taawoun on September 27, 2020, at the Education Stadium in the Qatari city of Ar-Rayyan. (Photo by Mustafa ABUMUNES / AFP)

The Moroccan superstar is the competition's top scorer with six goals and managed to score in nine consecutive games, leading his team to the quarter-finals after hitting the winner against Al-Taawon in the round of 16.

The 29-year-old striker joined Al-Nassr in 2018 and was a major reason behind the side being crowned 2018-2019 league champions, securing the top-scorer spot for himself with 35 goals, before repeating the feat the next season by netting 29 times.