ACL2019 Round of 16, First Leg Toyota Player of the Week: Kenyu Sugimoto


Urawa Red Diamonds striker Kenyu Suigmoto was on target for his first ever goal in the AFC Champions League in their Round of 16 first leg tie on Wednesday to earn this week's top accolade.

It was, however, a bittersweet achievement for the 26-year-old as his first-half header was followed up by a pair of strikes from visitors Ulsan Hyundai in a 2-1 defeat.

Nevertheless, Sugimoto's performance was an impressive one. His goal was nominated for Goal of the Week and his all-round game was excellent with a passing accuracy of 91.3% the stand-out statistic. He was awarded a 7.7 rating to lead the Toyota Player of the Week standings.

Another J.League player, Serginho (below) of Kashima Antlers, took second place in the rankings as he scored the only goal in their 1-0 win over countrymen Sanfrecce Hiroshima.


Serginho's close-range header was his sixth goal in seven AFC Champions League knockout stage appearances and showed his importance to the defending champions once the tournament reaches the elimination stage.

The 24-year-old Brazilian was also in a team-leading nine aerial duels, completed 20 passes and had two shots on goal to earn a 7.4 rating.

Serginho's countryman Ewerton (below) rounds out the top three to take third spot thanks to his solid performance for Urawa in the match with Ulsan.


The 26-year-old from Sao Paulo was in the middle of the action throughout, registering 122 touches - the most of any player during the first leg of the Round of 16.

The midfielder also made 107 passes and created three chances to receive a 7.4 rating in this week's Toyota standings.

Shandong Luneng midfielder Zhang Chi enters the list at number four with a 7.1 rating. The 31-year-old scored a vital away goal, had 60 touches and created one chance in the Chinese side's 2-1 defeat to compatriots Guangzhou Evergrande.

Completing the top five is Urawa's Takuya Iwanami with a 7.1 rating and is the third player from the Saitama club to feature in this week's top eight performers.

Guangzhou defensive pair Zhang Linpeng and Park Ji-soo are next and they are followed by Ulsan's Joo Min-kyu with all three tallying 7.0 ratings.