Kuala Lumpur: After tens of thousands of fans from throughout the footballing world cast their votes last week, the race to decide Asia’s Best FIFA World Cup goals continues.
In a second semi-final featuring 10 more Asian World Cup classics, this week’s selection features some of the continent’s all-time greats, all delivering moments of magic on the game’s biggest stage.
There are fabulous free-kicks, blistering breakaways and scorchers from distance, but which five goals will advance to next week’s final?
Cast your vote below from our list of nominees:
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Faisal Al Dakheel – Kuwait
v Czechoslovakia, June 17, 1982
AFC Asian Cup winners in 1980, Kuwait’s first ever match at Spain ‘82 produced not only their first FIFA World Cup goal, but one of outstanding quality.
Faisal Al Dakheel had been one of the shining lights in the team that became Asian champions two years earlier, and he made an instant impact on the world stage, slamming home a 30-yard piledriver to help his side claim an impressive 1-1 draw on debut.
Hwangbo Kwan – Korea Republic
v Spain, June 17, 1990
Trailing Spain by a single goal in their group stage match in Udine, Korea Republic needed a spark to keep their campaign alive, and it was duly provided by Hwangbo Kwan.
Teed up by captain Choi Soon-ho, his 30-yard thunderbolt was too hot for Spanish goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta to handle, providing a brief moment of glory in an otherwise unsuccessful tournament for the Koreans.
Fahad Al Ghesheyan – Saudi Arabia
v Sweden, July 3, 1994
In a maiden World Cup packed with Saudi highs, even the match which ended the Green Falcons’ run at USA ‘94 produced a superb goal from Fahad Al Ghesheyan.
Staring down a Round of 16 elimination with just over five minutes remaining, the Al Hilal striker turned a Swedish defender inside out before hammering the ball into the roof of the net to ensure Saudi Arabia’s excellent tournament finished with the final flourish it deserved.
Mehdi Mahdavikia – IR Iran
v United States, June 21, 1998
In an eagerly anticipated fixture, and with Team Melli already a goal up thanks to Hamid Estili’s first-half header, Mehdi Mahdavikia put the seal on a famous win with a lung-bursting breakaway run and finish.
Finding himself in open space in the 83rd minute, the future Bundesliga star sprinted towards goal before expertly poking the ball into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area, all but guaranteeing three priceless Iranian points.
Ahn Jung-hwan – Korea Republic
v Togo, June 13, 2006
Four years on from his unforgettable match-winner against Italy, Ahn Jung-hwan returned to the World Cup stage with a goal that was less pivotal in the overall in scheme of things, but arguably more beautiful.
In a match where Korea Repubic had to come from behind to beat African debutants Togo, Ahn was the man who sealed the points, arrowing a terrific strike into the top corner from 25-yards.
Brett Holman – Australia
v Serbia, June 23, 2010
Australia have produced their share of FIFA World Cup heroes over the past two decades, but no Socceroo stood out at the 2010 edition like Brett Holman, who scored twice in as many group stage matches.
The second of those goals was a swerving, bouncing 30-yard-effort against Serbia, and while it didn’t see the Australians through to the Round of 16, it did provide a golden moment in Holman’s career.
Yasuhito Endo – Japan
v Denmark, June 24, 2010
In a career which spanned over 1,000 matches, Yasuhito Endo produced countless examples of his ability as a footballer, but few, if any, came on a grander stage than his delightful free-kick against Denmark in 2010.
The 25-yard effort didn’t have the power of many of the other goals on this list – in fact, it appeared to float through the air in slow motion – but it curled gloriously inside the upright, giving Japan a 2-0 lead which set up a memorable win.
Park Ji-sung – Korea Republic
v Greece, June 12, 2010
Eight years after his first World Cup goal against Portugal, Park Ji-sung continued his love affair with the game’s biggest tournament, helping Korea Republic to a superb win against Greece in South Africa.
Seizing on a Greek error in midfield, Park displayed pace, skill and an ice-cool finish, becoming the first Korean player to score in three consecutive World Cups.
Keisuke Honda – Japan
v Côte d'Ivoire, June 14, 2014
Four years after the stunning free-kick which saw him included in last week’s first semi-final poll, Keisuke Honda got Japan’s 2014 campaign underway with a totally different, but equally outstanding goal.
A quarter of an hour into Japan’s opening group stage match, an off balance Honda slammed the ball into the top corner from just inside the box, adding another memorable chapter to his fine international career.
Son Heung-min – Korea Republic
v Mexico, June 23, 2018
Mention Son Heung-min’s name in the context of Russia 2018 and thoughts immediately turn to the tap-in which eliminated defending champions Germany, but it was his goal against Mexico earlier in the tournament which served as the tournament’s best example of the Tottenham star’s quality.
It came in a losing cause, but Son’s left-footed thunderbolt was one of the goals of the group stage, and underlined his status as Korea Republic’s talisman.
Vote for your five favourite FIFA World Cup Goals. Poll ends at 11:00 (UTC +8) on July 9.
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