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AFC Champions League 2020 (WEST): The Stats Wrap


Doha: After three weeks of intense action in Qatar, the West Asia section of the 2020 AFC Champions League concluded with Persepolis FC overcoming Al Nassr on penalties in the semi-final to advance to the showpiece event for the second time in three years.  

The Iranian giants will not learn their opponents for December's finale until the sides in East Asia complete their half of the draw later in the year as the Continent's premier club competition gets set to take centre stage once more from mid-November onwards.

Before which, the-AFC.com looks back at the facts and figures that caught the eye in the West, from the opening Matchdays in February to the end of the knockout rounds in Qatar.

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The Numbers Man

As ever, Shojae Khalilzadeh posted impressive statistics in marshalling the rock solid Persepolis defence on the way to another final, with the centre-back finishing top when it came to both touches and successful passes.

Khalilzadeh, who has played every minute of every game to date, was also joint top in terms of tackles won and scored a crucial winner against Al Taawoun on Matchday Three, as well as netting from the spot in the semi-final shootout against Al Nassr.


Goals Galore

Al Nassr striker Abderrazak Hamdallah is currently the 2020 AFC Champions League's top scorer with seven goals, while he also leads the way on shots (35) and shots on target (12).

The Moroccan scored in his first five games of the campaign, a run which meant, including the 2019 edition, he netted in nine successive matches to equal Shanghai SIPG's Hulk's streak from 2017.


Keep-ball

Of all the teams in the West Asia section of the draw Al Sadd SC, perhaps unsurprisingly given head coach Xavi Hernandez's Barcelona connections, had the highest average possession.

Over the course of seven games in the 2020 AFC Champions League, the Doha club had 58.6% of the play, ahead of the 56.2% recorded by Persepolis, the side that eliminated them in the last 16.


Hat-trick Hero

Sharjah striker Welliton is the only player in the West to have scored a hat-trick in the 2020 edition after he struck a devastating 12-minute treble in the Emirati side's 6-0 win over Al Taawoun on Matchday Five.

The Brazilian joined Vissel Kobe's Keijiro Ogawa as the only players who have netted three in a game in the current campaign after the Japanese forward did likewise against Malaysia's Johor Darul Ta'zim back in February.


Safe Hands

Australian goalkeeper Brad Jones made a tournament-leading 25 saves to help Riyadh giants Al Nassr reach the semi-finals for the first time before falling just short on penalties.

In eight games overall, the former Liverpool and Feyenoord shot-stopper also kept an impressive four clean sheets, a tally bettered only by Persepolis custodian Hamed Lak.


The Persepolis Wall

While Jones' numbers are indeed impressive, nothing can match Persepolis' defensive wall from the moment they arrived in Qatar, from when they did not concede any goals from open play.

The only two times the Tehran side's backline was breached in Doha came when Hamdallah and Al Duhail's Almoez Ali scored from the spot. By contrast, they conceded four times in their opening two games of the competition back in February.


Creative Force

Pakhtakor's Jaloliddin Masharipov is another whose stats continue to impress, with the winger coming out on top in the duels won, dribbles completed and chances created categories.

Two goals and two assists added further proof that he is the Uzbek side's main man, although a sending off in the quarter-final defeat to Persepolis meant his tournament ended on a sour note.


All-round Performer

Excellent at the back and going forward, Al Nassr right-back Sultan Al Ghannam's four assists over the course of the campaign is more than any other player, as is his 19 interceptions.

The Saudi Arabia international is also in the top five in terms of crosses from open play (24), and his performance in the Round of 16 victory over Al Taawoun saw him voted the Toyota Player of the Week.


Rising High

And finally, Al Sadd centre-back Boualem Khoukhi won more aerial duels than any other player, coming out on top in 30 of the 41 balls he competed for in the air.

The Qatar international finished one ahead of Al Taawoun's Mitchell Duke, who won 29 of the 50 aerials he went up for and played just five games compared to Khoukhi's seven.

Poll ends at 16:00 (UTC +8) on July 9.

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