Kuala Lumpur: Our tribute to the Best Goals of the 2020 AFC Champions League continues this week with a selection of last-minute goals.
As the kick-off date for the historic 2021 edition approaches, the-AFC.com 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 the Best Headers of 2020, Ramin Rezaeian of Al Duhail topped the Best Free-kicks of 2020, Al Nassr's Abdulrahman Al Obaid won the Best Long-Range Goals of 2020, while Abderrazak Hamdallah's strike against Qatar's Al Saad on Matchday One was voted as the winner of the Best Team Goals of 2020.
Our next instalment looks at the goals scored right at the very end and invites you, the fan, to tell us which was your favourite.
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Suwon Samsung Bluewings vs Vissel Kobe, Matchday Two
Neither side impressed for much of the 89 minutes before Kyogo Furuhashi claimed the only goal of the game, with Vissel Kobe being made to work much harder than they had seven days earlier by a Suwon Samsung Bluewings team playing their first game of the season.
Furuhashi’s 90th minute strike ensured the points went back to Japan when he slid in to direct Gotoku Sakai’s low cross from the left beyond a helpless No Dong-geon to keep Kobe perfect after their first two games.
Mehdi Abdi Qara
Persepolis FC v Sharjah, Matchday Six
Persepolis FC came racing out of the blocks as Shojae Khalilzadeh, Isa Al Kasir and Vahid Amiri made it a trio of headed goals in the first half for the Islamic Republic of Iran side.
With just seconds to go in the final 45 minutes, Persepolis signed off with a fourth goal as substitutes Arman Ramzani and Mehdi Abdi Qara combined with the former setting up a header that Qara converted from inside the box to make it 4-0 at the final whistle.
Shanghai SIPG FC v Yokohama F. Marinos, Matchday Three
The 2019 J1 League champions dominated throughout but the game was only decided in the 90th minute when substitute Jun Amano tapped in a rebound after Teruhito Nakagawa’s header was fumbled into his path by the Shanghai SIPG keeper. Oscar had missed a penalty for the Chinese Super League club eight minutes earlier.
Chiangrai United vs FC Seoul, Matchday Four
A dramatic brace from Bill secured Chiangrai United’s first ever AFC Champions League win as the Thai club prevailed 2-1 against FC Seoul. Bill had given Chiangrai the lead in the 40th minute before Seoul found the equaliser through Park Chu-young's leveller 19 minutes later.
With a point of minimal value to either, both Seoul and Chiangrai actively chased a would-be winner in the dying minutes, and it was Bill who provided it, poking home Siakorn Tiatakrul’s careful cross to secure a famous victory for his club.
Ulsan Hyundai FC vs Vissel Kobe, Semi-final
Ulsan Hyundai FC advanced to the 2020 AFC Champions League final with a 2-1 win over Vissel Kobe after extra time in an epic semi-final.
A 119th-minute penalty kick from Ulsan’s Júnior Negrão finally settled the tie, which had seen Vissel go ahead through Hotaru Yamaguchi just after half-time, only for Bjørn Johnsen to snatch a late equaliser with the help of the Video Assistant Referee.
The Brazilian pounced on the slightest of spills from Daiya Maekawa, getting in between the goalkeeper and the ball and winning a 119th-minute penalty, which he slammed low into the net to take Ulsan into the decider.
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