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AFC Champions League: Best Free-kicks of 2020

Kuala Lumpur: The 2021 AFC Champions League is set to be a thrilling affair with the continent's premier club competition expanded to 40 teams.

As the kick-off date for the historic 2021 edition approaches, looks back at the 2020 tournament which turned out to be a thrilling affair despite the challenging circumstances.

We kicked off the series in style, with fans voting Persepolis FC's Mehdi Abdi Qara as the winner of Best Headers of 2020. Our next installment looks at the fabulous goals scored from free-kicks and invite you, the fan, to tell us which was your favourite.

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Ramin Rezaeian
Al Duhail SC vs Sharjah, Matchday Three

New signing Ramin Rezaeian struck the pick of goals to send Al Duhail 2-0 up early in the second half after Almoez Ali had scored the opener for the Qataris in the 40th minute.

Ramin Rezaeian (Al Duhail SC v Sharjah)

The Iranian international had joined Al Duhail just three weeks prior after enjoying a magnificent individual 2019-20 season, scoring 13 times for his former side Al Shahania in the Qatar Stars League.

Ali Karimi
Pakhtakor vs Esteghlal, Round of 16

Ali Karimi (Pakhtakor v Esteghlal)

With 32 minutes gone, Esteghlal’s Mehdi Ghaedi looked to make his way into the penalty box but was brought down just outside the area by Khojiakbar Alijonov.

Ali Karimi stepped up to take the resulting free-kick, curling the ball beautifully into the back of the net past rooted Pakhtakor goalkeeper Eldorbek Suyunov.

Ai Kesen
Vissel Kobe vs Guangzhou Evergrande, Matchday Four

Ai Kesen (Vissel Kobe vs Guangzhou Evergrande)

The Chinese Super League side kept knocking on the door with Talisca missing two chances in succession while teammate Zhong Yihao’s effort was expertly saved by Hiroki Iikura, and eventually succeeded in doubling their lead when Ai Kesen’s right footed sublime free-kick settled in the net for the 30th AFC Champions League goal of his career.

Bruno Fornaroli
Shanghai Shenhua FC vs Perth Glory, Matchday Five

Bruno Fornaroli (Shanghai Shenhua FC v Perth Glory)

Fornaroli showed them all how it was done in the second minute of added time, picking out the top corner with a scorching 25-yard free-kick to put Perth ahead at half-time, giving the Uruguayan his first career goal in Asian competition.

Yoon Bit-garam
FC Tokyo vs Ulsan Hyundai FC, Matchday Five

Yoon Bit-garam (FC Tokyo v Ulsan Hyundai FC)

Yoon Bit-garam’s double earned Ulsan Hyundai FC a 2-1 win over FC Tokyo as the Korea Republic side came from behind to advance to the quarter-finals. Yoon's first goal was an absolute peach, as he levelled the tie with a curling free-kick just before the break.

Jonathan Viera
Beijing FC vs FC Seoul, Matchday Five

Jonathan Viera (Beijing FC v FC Seoul)

Bruno Genesio’s men opened the scoring through a smartly executed free-kick thanks to Spaniard Jonathan Viera, who fired it low into the keeper’s far side after he was initially fouled by Kim Won-sik.

*Poll ends at 17:00 (UTC+8) on February 26.

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