5 of the Best: Flicks, tricks and backheels
Kuala Lumpur: The-AFC.com's '5 of the Best' series has highlighted some of the finest goals the AFC Champions League has seen over the years, with our latest selection focusing on inventive, improvised efforts that are sure to delight.
Following on from acrobatic goals, solo goals, volleys, long-range screamers, chips and free-kicks, this week we shine the spotlight on clever and cheeky finishes from across the Continent. Don't forget to vote for your favourite in the poll below!
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Elkeson – Guangzhou Evergrande
vs Al Ahli Dubai, November 21, 2015
Elkeson had already played a starring role in an AFC Champions League final when his two goals helped Guangzhou Evergrande claim the 2013 title. In 2015, his stunning contribution against the UAE's Al Ahli ensured his side won a second title in three years.
Receiving the ball with his back to goal, Elkeson came up with a moment of magic to evade Salmeen Khamis before producing a sumptuous finish with the outside of his right foot into the bottom corner to send the crowd at Tianhe Stadium into raptures and Guangzhou on their way to a second Continental crown.
Nilmar – Al Nasr
vs Sepahan, March 1, 2016
A week prior to this group stage clash, Nilmar had missed the 2-0 defeat against IR Iran's Sepahan, meaning the match against the same opposition in March 2016 was his AFC Champions League debut for Al Nasr – and the Brazilian marked it with a goal to remember.
With the game scoreless as the hour approached, Nilmar nipped in ahead of Abdollah Karimi to somehow, with superb improvisation, flick Hussain Abbas' low cross goalwards and leave the Sepahan defence dumbfounded.
Shoma Doi – Kashima Antlers
vs Shanghai SIPG, May 16, 2018
Kashima Antlers were a goal down away at Shanghai SIPG in the second leg of the 2018 Round of 16 and clinging on to a 3-2 aggregate lead when Shoma Doi produced a touch of class just before the interval to put the J.League side back in firm control.
Leo Silva found Yuma Suzuki, who played in the overlapping Koki Anzai and the left-back's delivery into the six-yard box was coolly dispatched into the bottom left corner by Doi. Kashima lost 2-1 on the night but went through on aggregate before lifting the title just under six months later in Tehran.
Mix Diskerud – Ulsan Hyundai
vs Sydney FC, May 7, 2019
He only played seven AFC Champions League games for Ulsan Hyundai during a year-long loan spell but United States international Mix Diskerud brought genuine quality to the K League side, as displayed with this sublime finish against Sydney FC.
With his back to goal and surrounded by Sydney defenders, the quick-thinking Diskerud controlled Kim In-sung's pass before nonchalantly backheeling the ball past Andrew Redmayne for the only goal of the game.
Hassan Al Haydos - Al Sadd
vs Sepahan, February 18, 2020
The 2020 AFC Champions League barely had time to get up and running before the COVID-19 pandemic brought it to a halt, but there was still time to witness some great goals, and Hassan Al Haydos' finish against Sepahan was just that.
Darting to the near post to meet Baghdad Bounedjah's low cross from the right, Al Haydos was able to flick the ball home with a finish his Algerian provider would have been proud of before the Qatari international added another soon after in a 3-0 win.
Vote for your favourite goal below (Poll ends at 1600 (UTC 8) on May 8).
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