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ACL 2017 MD4 Toyota Player of the Week: Ko Seung-beom

Friday, April 14, 2017
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Kuala Lumpur: Ko Seung-beom has been named the Toyota Player of the Week after his Man of the Match performance in Suwon Samsung Bluewings’ 5-0 victory over Eastern SC on Wednesday helped the K League Classic side move into pole position in Group G of the 2017 AFC Champions League.

The 22-year-old right-sided midfielder, who made his continental debut in last month’s 1-0 victory over the same opponents, scored twice and teed up another at Suwon World Cup Stadium as the hosts eventually swept aside a stubborn Eastern.

Suwon had struggled to break down the visitors early on until Ko’s centre for captain Yeom Ki-hun to head home the opener on 37 minutes, before his sweetly struck volley shortly after the hour found the bottom corner as Suwon assumed a commanding lead.

One-way traffic ensued and, after Brazilian substitute Johnathan had netted a brace, Ko rounded off the scoring with another fine effort from almost an identical position to cap a fantastic display.

The Suwon youngster’s double came from three attempts on goal, while he also delivered eight crosses including his assist for Yeom. A hugely impressive 96% passing accuracy was the highest of the all players who started the tie and an overall rating of 9.3 makes Ko the deserved winner of the weekly accolade.

Next on the list was Al Ahli’s prolific frontman Omar Al Soma, whose double against Al Ain on Tuesday ensured the Saudi Arabian side stayed top of Group C and earned the Syrian an 8.6 rating.

Al Soma’s close-range header levelled the scores as half-time approached, before his stunning 89th-minute volley from 20 yards ensured a share of the spoils.

The dangerman touched the ball less times (38) than any of his outfield teammates that completed 90 minutes but his brace, from six efforts on goal, is further proof that Al Soma is Al Ahli’s key weapon in their quest for continental glory.

Third on the Toyota Player of the Week list is Everton Ribeiro from namesakes Al Ahli of the United Arab Emirates after the Brazilian helped his side overcame Al Taawoun 3-1 to rise to the summit of Group A on Tuesday.

Makhete Diop got on the end of Ribeiro’s dangerous inswinging delivery to put the visitors in front on 37 minutes and the Brazilian then curled in a stunning free-kick from an almost impossible angle to double Al Ahli’s lead in first-half stoppage time.

A constant thorn in the Al Taawoun side, Ribeiro created four chances for his teammates, won three fouls and scored a rating of 8.5.

Back in the East, Dejan Damjanovic finished in fourth position after his double on Tuesday ensured FC Seoul gained their first points of the Group F campaign following a 3-2 victory at Western Sydney Wanderers. The Montenegrin forward’s penalty made it 2-0 before an excellent second from outside the box proved the winner as he was awarded an 8.3 rating.

Rounding off the top five is Al Rayyan goalkeeper Oumar Barry, who saved all six shots he faced on Monday and scored an 8.3 rating as the Qatari side kept Persepolis at bay to claim what could be a crucial scoreless draw and remain second in the Group D standings.

Another goalkeeper, Al Hilal’s Abdullah Al Muaiouf, came in sixth place with an 8.1 rating after he denied Al Wahda’s Sebastian Tagliabue from the spot and made six saves in a 1-0 win. Completing the top eight, meanwhile, are Persepolis’s Mohsen Mosalman and Jiangsu FC’s Hong Jeong-ho, both of whom scored an 8.0 rating.

Photos: Suwon Samsung FC & Lagardère Sports