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Kuala Lumpur: Goals aplenty rained in during the first four months of the 2017 AFC Champions League and, ahead of the four quarter-final fixtures, the-AFC.com takes a look at eight dangermen who will be looking to fire their clubs towards continental glory.

 

Omar Abdulrahman (Al Ain)

The 2016 AFC Player of the Year has added more goals to his game this year and leads the scoring charts with seven in total. 

A last-minute winner against Bunyodkor in the group stage and a brace in the Round of 16 clash with Esteghlal are among the highlights, while six assists is further evidence that the playmaker is determined to make amends for Al Ain’s final defeat last year.


Alan (Guangzhou Evergrande)

Following the departure of Paulinho to Barcelona, Guangzhou will look ever more to their joint-top scorer Alan to fire them deeper into the tournament. 

The Brazilian began the tournament in superb fashion, netting three in three games including crucial strikes against Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Kawasaki Frontale as the two-time champions advanced with an unbeaten record.


Omar Al Soma (Al Ahli)

Syrian forward Omar Al Soma has not played since Matchday Five but late goals at Zobahan and Al Ain were vital in Al Ahli’s qualification from the group stage. 

With goals so far including a 20-yard left-foot volley, a rocket of a free-kick and a close-range header, Al Soma is without doubt a threat anywhere in and around the 18-yard box, something that will be of concern to quarter-final opponents Persepolis.


Hulk (Shanghai SIPG)

Brazilian powerhouse Hulk has bagged six goals to date including three from outside the penalty area to help Shanghai SIPG advance to the last eight for the second successive year. 

It was at the same stage in 2016 that Hulk made his AFC Champions League bow in a 5-0 defeat to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, but his stunning form in the current campaign is evidence that his influence will be far greater this time round.


Omar Khribin (Al Hilal)

The second Syrian on our list, Omar Khribin made his loan spell at Al Hilal permanent in the summer months after the forward’s late winner against Al Rayyan confirmed top spot in Group D.

He was again on the scoresheet against Esteghlal Khouzestan in the last 16 as Khribin proved he has the ability to step up when it matters most.


Yu Kobayashi (Kawasaki Frontale)

Yu Kobayashi’s goals against Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Guangzhou Evergrande gained invaluable points for Kawasaki Frontale early in the tournament during a run of four successive draws. 

The Japanese international scored two more in the Round of 16 against Muangthong United and now leads an ever improving side into the quarter-finals on the back of four wins on the bounce.


Mehdi Taremi (Persepolis)

Mehdi Taremi has scored more than half of Persepolis’ goals in the 2017 AFC Champions League to help the Islamic Republic of Iran side progress to the quarter-finals for the first time. 

At 2-2 in their final Group D game with Al Wahda, Persepolis were heading for the exit door until Taremi netted twice to complete his hat-trick and create history for the Iranian champions.


Rafael Silva (Urawa Red Diamonds)

The most lethal of our eight featured players, Rafael Silva has produced an incredible return of five goals from just eight shots. 

Usually deployed from the bench, the Brazilian frontman scored the only goal of the game in the one match he started – a 1-0 victory over Shanghai SIPG – and the striker will surely be pushing for a place in the first 11 against Kawasaki Frontale.

Photos: Lagardère Sports