5 of the Best: Last-minute winners
Kuala Lumpur: It's hard to beat the feeling of snatching victory from the jaws of defeat at the very last, and this week's '5 of the Best' highlights some of the most dramatic climaxes ever seen in the AFC Champions League.
From elation in Osaka to joy in Jeddah and fantastic finishes in Dubai, Sydney and Tehran, our latest edition shines the spotlight on the magical moments that help make the beautiful game the most watched sport in the world.
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Koki Yonekura – Gamba Osaka
vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, September 16, 2015
After a goalless draw in the first leg of the quarter-final between Gamba and Jeonbuk, the return meeting in Osaka threw up a clash to remember, and when Urko Vera headed home with two minutes to play to make the score 2-2, it seemed the Korean side were heading for the semi-finals.
But the hosts refused to throw in the towel and, three minutes into added time, substitute Koki Yonekura was sent through, managed to stay on his feet under pressure from the Jeonbuk defence and then lifted the ball over Kwoun Sun-tae to spark joyous scenes around Expo '70 Stadium.
Kwon Kyung-won – Al Ahli Dubai
vs Al Hilal, October 20, 2015
With the second leg of the 2015 semi-final between the UAE's Al Ahli and Al Hilal at 3-3 on aggregate and deep into stoppage time, the Saudi giants were heading to their second successive final, but hosts Al Ahli had one last throw of the dice.
Three of the allotted five minutes had passed when Everton Ribeiro's inswinging free-kick was not dealt with by the Al Hilal defence, allowing Kwon Kyung-won to pounce on the loose ball and fire home from 12 yards as Al Ahli advanced to the final for the first time.
Hao Junmin – Shandong Luneng
vs Sydney FC, May 25, 2016
A first-ever quarter-final appearance was on the horizon for Sydney FC in 2016 with the Australian side 3-2 up on aggregate against Shandong Luneng, who had earlier missed a penalty, as the clock ticked into its final minute. Enter Hao Junmin.
The substitute received the ball 25 yards from goal, took one touch and sent a viscous swerving effort beyond goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic into the top corner to stun the Sydney crowd as the hosts were sent packing.
Jalal Hosseini – Persepolis
vs Al Jazira, May 14, 2018
Persepolis brought plenty of drama to the 2018 AFC Champions League as the Iranian side's never-say-die attitude helped them advance all the way to the final. In the last 16 against the UAE's Al Jazira, it was a case of 'cometh the hour, cometh the man'.
Having seen their second-half goal cancelled out, the Tehran side were heading for the exit door with 89 minutes gone, only for captain Jalal Hosseini to come up with a finish any striker would be proud of as the centre-back volleyed home to send the 80,000 inside Azadi Stadium into raptures.
Abdulrahman Ghareeb – Al Ahli Saudi
vs Pakhtakor, May 20, 2019
When Igor Sergeev tapped in to level the scores with three minutes remaining of the decisive 2019 group stage match between Pakhtakor and Al Ahli, the Tashkent side appeared to heading into the knockout rounds for the first time since 2010.
But the deflated Jeddah crowd would be treated to a rip-roaring finish as, with the game into added time, the ball dropped to Abdulrahman Ghareeb on the edge of the area and the forward arrowed into the bottom right corner to send the Saudi side into the next round and the Uzbeks crashing out.
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