ACL MD1 Toyota Player of the Week
Kuala Lumpur: Lekhwiya’s Youssef El Arabi has been named the Toyota Player of the Week for the opening round of the 2017 AFC Champions League after impressing in his team’s 3-0 win against Al Jazira that kicked-off their Group B campaign.
The Moroccan hitman, who has averaged more than a goal a game in the Qatari league since joining Lekhwiya in July 2016, netted a brace against the Emirati visitors at Doha’s Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium on Monday.
El Arabi’s (pictured below, right) first came inside 10 minutes after heading in Youssef Msakni’s cross from the right from six yards, before Msakni deservedly doubled the Qatari side’s lead with 10 minutes remaining.
El Arabi then tapped in from substitute Ali Afif’s centre in added time to wrap up a comfortable victory for Lekhwiya as the Emiratis’ winless run in the continental competition stretched to eight games.
The former Granada CF striker showed deadly accuracy netting his two goals from three shots on goal while also tallying 36 passes, creating two chances for team-mates, and winning five of nine duels for a 9.8 rating to top the Toyota standings for the week.
Not far behind was Al Ahli (UAE)'s Makhete Diop who put his own stamp on the Matchday One 2-1 victory over Islamic Republic of Iran’s Esteghlal with an 89th minute winner, having initially put the Emiratis in front just before half-time.
The Senegalese striker netted his brace from five shots on goal, four of which were on target, tallied 26 passes and won 10 of his 16 duels – the best total in Dubai – to compile a 9.7 rating and delight the Al Ahli fans with his late impact.
In the most one-sided tie from the opening week of the 2017 AFC Champions League, Guangzhou Evergrande crushed Eastern SC 7-0 at home with the Hong Kong debutants also having two players sent off.
Guangzhou’s Wang Shangyuan scored the tie’s second and seventh goals to cap a fine performance for the 23-year-old who also tallied 88 touches – the second highest in the match – put in 10 crosses and racked up an 88.5% accuracy from his 61 passes to earn a 9.6 rating.
Salman Al Moasher of Al Ahli (KSA) is in fourth place this week after scoring his side’s second goal in the 2-0 win over Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah.
The 28-year-old forward netted from two shots on goal and made 38 passes with an 86.8% accuracy rating and won seven of 10 duels.
Completing the top five is Guangzhou midfielder Liao Lisheng with a 9.5 rating after scoring two goals in Eastern’s demolition at Tianhe Stadium as well as making 53 passes with 94.4% accuracy.
Liao’s teammates from Brazil, Paulinho and Ricardo Goulart, are next with 9.5. and 9.4 ratings with Lekhwiya’s Msakni rounding out the standings this week after scoring a 9.4 rating.