5 of the Best: Free-kicks
Kuala Lumpur: The-AFC.com's '5 of the Best' series has taken in some spectacular goals in recent weeks and the latest compilation from the AFC Champions League will not disappoint as we look back at some delightful dead-ball deliveries.
After previously featuring the finest acrobatic goals, solo goals, volleys, long-range screamers and chips, this week's selection sees stunning set-piece specials from some of the biggest names of the Continental game including Paulinho, Theerathon and Abdulrahman, so enjoy the trip down memory lane and vote for your favourite in the poll below!
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Artur Gevorkyan – Nasaf
vs Al Ahli Saudi, March 4, 2015
Turkmenistan international Artur Gevorkyan made quite a name for himself in Uzbekistan, where he spent well over a decade of his career and won numerous titles, most notably as part of Nasaf's glory years.
Up against Continental powerhouse Al Ahli in the 2015 group stage, the midfielder drew his side level with a perfectly executed free-kick that gave a fully stretched Abdullah Al Mayouf no chance.
Theerathon Bunmathan – Buriram United
vs Gamba Osaka, March 18, 2015
Theerathon Bunmathan could have his own compilation of stunning dead-ball goals and this beauty at a saturated Expo '70 Stadium against Gamba Osaka is arguably the best, with the left-back curling into the top corner with perfect technique and the utmost precision.
It was one of three free-kicks the now Yokohama F. Marinos star has scored against Japanese opposition in the AFC Champions League, while two weeks later he netted directly from a corner against Gamba, who must have been sick of the sight of him.
Yeom Ki-hun – Suwon Samsung Bluewings
vs Brisbane Roar, April 8, 2015
Another player with a sweet left foot, Yeom Ki-hun delighted the home support at Suwon World Cup Stadium when he put his side 3-0 up against Brisbane Roar in the 2015 group stage.
From at least 30 yards out, Yeom bends the ball with pace and power beyond Jamie Young and, while his goal for Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors in the 2006 final may have been more important, it would be hard to find a better one over his many years in the competition.
Paulinho – Guangzhou Evergrande
vs Kashiwa Reysol, August 25, 2015
Perhaps one of the most iconic goals in the AFC Champions League's history, Paulinho's debut strike away at Kashiwa Reysol had the lot: the wow factor, the stunning contrast in colours and the unrivaled joy of the celebrations.
With Guangzhou Evergrande a goal up in the first leg of the quarter-final, Paulinho's rocket from 40 yards left Takanori Sugeno in the Kashiwa goal flat-footed as the Brazilian put a miserable spell at Tottenham Hotspur firmly behind him en route to winning the 2015 title.
Omar Abdulrahman - Al Ain
vs Bunyodkor, May 8, 2017
It would seem unjust to produce a top five AFC Champion League free-kick list and not include Emirati maestro Omar Abdulrahman, who is among the top free-scorers in the competition's history.
In typical Abdulrahman fashion, the 2016 AFC Player of the Year lifts the ball up and over the wall to bend it, almost predictably, into the top corner with what was the second free-kick he scored against Bunyodkor in the 2017 group stage.
Vote for your favourite goal below (Poll ends at 1600 (UTC 8) on May 1).
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