Football

Vissel Kobe's Maekawa voted "Toyota" player of the week

Vissel Kobe's goalkeeper was voted by the fans player of the week following the ACL (east) semi-final.

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Vissel Kobe's Maekawa voted "Toyota" player of the week
IBRAHEEM AL OMARI REUTERS

Vissel Kobe's goalkeeper Daiya Maekawa has been selected as player of the week despite his side's 2-1 defeat to Ulsan Hyundai of South Korea, which set up a highly-anticipated final game on 19 December against Iranian Persepolis, in ACL (east) semi-final.

The 26-year-old delivered magnificent display despite conceding a brace from the South Korean side in the semi-final game making six great saves that got him 55% of the total votes from fans who participated in the poll.  He was also rated as number one by Stats Perform – the AFC's official data provider – with a score of 7.3.

Maekawa made a stunning four minutes into extra time as he fully threw himself to his right to keep away a shot from Yoon Bit-Garam. However, the semi-final left a bitter taste in the shot-stopper's mouth as he conceded a last-minute goal from a penalty kick taken by Junior Negrao who sent Ulsan Hyundai straight to the final game to clash with Persepolis of Iran.

Junior Negrao wins "Allianz" goal of the week award

The Brazilian striker who has been in great form recently playing a key role in his team reaching the final game of the tournament won the goal of the week award presented by the "Allianz" for his stunning goal against FC Beijing in the quarter-final game.

Negrao launched a rocket in the 42nd minute of the game to double the lead he had already secured a few minutes earlier from a penalty kick to book his team a seat in the semi-final game where they managed to eliminate Vissel Kobe with the help of the Brazilian marksman.