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2021 AFC Champions League Group Stage – 5 of the Best: Long-Range Goals

Kuala Lumpur: The 2021 AFC Champions League group stage saw some great goals over the last few months and, with continental action on a temporary break, we've selected some of the very best from various categories.

Kicking off's '5 of the Best' series, here are five long-range rockets for you to cast your eyes over before telling us which is your favourite by voting at the bottom of the article.

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Sharof Mukhiddinov – Pakhtakor
vs Tractor FC, April 14, 2021

Sharof Mukhiddinov (Pakhtakor vs Tractor FC)

Pakhtakor more than played their part in that exciting six-goal thriller with Tractor FC and Sharof Mukhiddinov's equaliser was one of the outstanding moments. The midfielder twisted and turned before unleashing a thunderous left-footed strike that nestled into the Tabriz side's net.

Mehdi Ghaedi – Esteghlal FC
vs Al Ahli Saudi FC, April 15, 2021

Mehdi Ghaedi (Esteghlal vs Al Ahli Saudi FC)

Tipped to be one of the stars of the 2021 AFC Champions League, Mehdi Ghaedi graced the competition with a demonstration of his prodigious talent in the very first match, rifling home from 30 yards out for his second of the game in a 5-2 win against Al Ahli Saudi.

Yoichiro Kakitani – Nagoya Grampus
vs FC Pohang Steelers, June 25, 2021

Yoichiro Kakitani (Nagoya Grampus vs Pohang Steelers)

Yoichiro Kakitani netted the first goal of the Matchday Two (East) action and what a strike it was. Receiving the ball just outside the area, the forward turned and drilled home from 25 yards to give Kang Hyeon-mu in the Pohang Steelers goal no chance and set his side on their way to a 3-0 victory before they ultimately cruised into the next round.

Pakorn Prempak – Port FC
vs Cerezo Osaka, June 30, 2021

Pakorn Prempak (Cerezo Osaka vs Port FC)

What an extraordinary goal this was! Pakorn Prempak picked up the ball, closer to his own penalty area than the halfway line, and hit a speculative effort that reached the Cerezo penalty area and bounced high over goalkeeper Kenya Matsui and into the empty net to put Port FC a goal up against the table-toppers.

Shu Kurata – Gamba Osaka
vs Tampines Rovers, July 7, 2021

Shu Kurata (Gamba Osaka vs Tampines Rovers)

With nine goals in the match between Gamba Osaka and Tampines Rovers, picking just one would normally be a difficult task, but Shu Kurata's opener was a screamer. Kazunari Ichimi set up his skipper with a cushioned header and Kurata, left with plenty still to be done, controlled and rifled on the half-volley from outside the box into the roof of the net for the opening goal in an 8-1 win.

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