ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals: Ones to Watch
Kuala Lumpur: There's just a few days to go to the ASEAN Zonal Semi-finals with teams from Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam set to go head-to-head in some classic encounters.
The two-legged semi-finals will kick off on Tuesday and Wednesday with the return legs the following week. The two victors will progress to the ASEAN Zonal Final a month later to determine who is the 2019 AFC Cup's Southeast Asia champion.
We look at four players - one from each of the semi-finalists - who could prove to be the difference-makers.
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Forward, Ceres Negros
Andalusian attacker Marañón may have only scored two goals in his AFC Cup debut campaign at the 2016 edition, but since then he has more than made up for that, becoming one of the most feared forwards in the competition's history.
Nineteen goals combined in the 2017 and 2018 tournaments have been followed by nine so far this year as the 33-year-old currently leads the scorers list.
72' - GOAL!! @CeresNegrosFC 3-0!!— FOX Sports LIVE! (@FSAsiaLive) May 1, 2019
HATTRICK for Bienvenido Maranon as he passes the ball into the back of the net this time around! A well deserved treble that for the Spaniard! #SHNvCER #AFCCup2019 pic.twitter.com/Ud7NG9vA6u
Marañón has been an ever-present throughout the Group Stage for the Filipino champions, playing all 540 minutes. His consistency is shown throughout his statistics with a stand-out 73% shooting accuracy.
Long range goals, spectacular chips, close-range finishes the man from Cadiz has the full range in his arsenal and will be a threat for any side's defence in the knockout stage.
Forward, Hanoi FC
Level with Marañón at the summit of the goalscorers' list, Nigerian striker Oseni has been a big part of Hanoi FC's success in this year's AFC Cup.
Nine goals are the statistic most will highlight, that includes four in the opening match against Cambodia's Naga World FC, but his all-round game is reflected in his chances created numbers (15), which far outstrip his Hanoi FC teammates.
A youth international for his country, Oseni tasted glory at the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup with the young Super Eagles, the 27-year-old may not have made the step up to a senior cap but has found plenty of success in his second home.
Two previous spells in Vietnam before he joined Long An F.C. in 2014, Oseni won the Vietnamese championship last year with Hanoi FC and, if he keeps his goalscoring rate up, there could very well be continental glory in the future.
Midfielder, PSM Makassar
The only outfield player to have played every minute of PSM Makassar's 2019 AFC Cup campaign so far, Dutch star Klok has been of vital importance to the Indonesian club.
Klok also boasts more touches than any other PSM player and, while he is nominally a defensive-oriented midfielder, his three goals in six matches and a shooting accuracy of 75% show his threat going forward.
Still only 26 years old, Klok experienced football in his native Netherlands, Scotland, Bulgaria and England before he joined PSM where he is now into his third domestic season.
A firm favouirite with the PSM faithful, if he continues to shine on the Continental stage expect to see his own hashtag #Ewaklok (Ewako is a Buginese word meaning "fight") trending on social media.
To Van Vu
Midfielder, Becamex Binh Duong
Goals scored, chances created and key passes made, To Van Vu has played a vital role in helping Becamex Binh Duong advance to the 2019 AFC Cup knockout rounds.
The all-action midfielder has been Mr. Reliable for Binh Duong chalking up more minutes and touches than any other player in his side.
⚽ Another round of fixtures, another #AFCCup2019 Allianz Goal of the Week for you to decide on!— AFC Cup (@AFCCup) May 2, 2019
Vote now! 👉 https://t.co/wyE7d9XoNN
🔥 Jordan Mintah
🎯 To Van Vu
🚀 Mirlan Murzaev pic.twitter.com/vcI3mqThhZ
Van Vu has a solid passing accuracy of 75% to go along with a very decent shooting accuracy of 65% from which has resulted three goals, scored in consecutive games on Matchdays Three, Four and Five.
The 25-year-old's debut Continental campaign has gone to plan so far, but can his maiden AFC Cup tournament get even better in the knockout stage?
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