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5 of the Best: Assists


Kuala Lumpur: In recent months, the-AFC.com's '5 of the Best' series has highlighted the finest goals to have been scored in the AFC Champions League over the years, but this week we turn our attention to the providers. 

From Omar Abdulrahman to Xavi, the Continental competition has been graced by numerous creative maestros and unsurprisingly a number of them feature in our selection of great assists as their touches of genius have enabled those around them to take the goalscoring glory. After reviewing the five, don't forget to vote for your favourite at the bottom of the article.

Also check out our previous editions: acrobatic goals, solo goals, volleys, long-range screamers, chips, free-kicks, curlers, saves, team goals and flicks, tricks and backheels.

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Mohammed Noor – Al Ittihad
vs Al Hilal, May 24, 2011

With two AFC Champions League winners' medal to his name and three goals in three separate finals, Al Ittihad's Mohammed Noor has had plenty of highs in the Continental competition and this assist to help settle the tie against bitter rivals Al Hilal in 2011 is another.

With the Jeddah side two goals up in the Round of 16, Noor dinks a beautifully weighted reverse pass into the path of the onrushing Nuni Assis, who lifts the ball over the 'keeper to open up a three-goal cushion in a 3-1 win.


Gao Lin – Guangzhou Evergrande
vs Central Coast Mariners, May 22, 2013

Guangzhou Evergrande were 2-1 up from the first leg of this last 16 tie against Central Coast Mariners when Muriqui struck an early goal at Tianhe Stadium to give the Australians a mountain to climb, but it was Gao Lin who provided the spark.

Zheng Zhi plays the ball to Gao, whose deft flick takes out three defenders, sending the Brazilian through to open the scoring in a 3-0 victory as the eventual champions progressed 5-1 on aggregate.


Omar Abdulrahman – Al Ain
vs Nasaf, May 3, 2016

It wouldn't be an AFC Champions League great assist list without an entry from Omar Abdulrahman and, of his many goal-creating moments on the Continent, this bit of improvisation against Uzbekistan's Nasaf in 2016 ranks among his finest.

With seemingly nothing on when the ball arrives at 'Amoory', the frizzy-haired playmaker spots Danilo Asprilla's darting run and manages to flick it backwards into his path with both precision and pace before the Colombian powers through on goal to put his side one up.


Dejan Damjanovic – FC Seoul
vs Shandong Luneng, August 24, 2016

Perhaps a 'best assist' compilation is not the place you'd expect to find the AFC Champions League's all-time second-highest scorer Dejan Damjanovic, but the Montenegrin showed he's got more than just goals in his repertoire in the 2016 quarter-final against Shandong Luneng.

Damjanovic has three defenders at close quarters but takes them all out with a lovely backheel that finds teammate Adriano, who takes one touch and slots home with minimal fuss to put the Koreans 3-1 up.


Xavi – Al Sadd
vs Persepolis, February 20, 2018

And finally, arguably one of the greatest midfielders of all time, Xavi made his AFC Champions League debut in 2018, lighting up games with his vision, creativity and even the odd goal to boot.

The Spaniard's supreme awareness was key to this Baghdad Bounedjah goal, a glance over his shoulder coming just before he swivels and dumbfounds the two Persepolis centre-backs with the smartest of balls to enable the Algerian to double Al Sadd's advantage.

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