Gamechangers: Aidana Otorbaeva, a different type of football hero
Bishkek: International footballers are often framed as heroes who give every ounce of energy for their country, but few players fit the description in such a literal sense.
In the first edition of Gamechangers – the-AFC.com's new weekly series highlighting great stories within the Asian women’s game – we meet Aidana Otorbaeva, the Kyrgyz Republic international who utilised her standing as a footballer to play a courageous role in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
Kuala Lumpur: The-AFC.com's '5 of the Best' spotlight returns to AFC Champions League action this week as we highlight goals that are far more about the collective than the individual.
With a selection that is sure to stir up domestic rivalries, we bring you goals from three of the biggest teams in Saudi Arabia and a pair of Japanese giants with moves that were perfected on the training ground before being played out under the floodlights. After reviewing the five teams goals, vote for your favourite at the bottom of the article.
Socceroo Nabbout to join Perth as Donachie also exits Victory
Melbourne: Australia international striker Andrew Nabbout is set to join Perth Glory from Melbourne Victory, interim coach Grant Brebner confirmed on Tuesday, with defender James Donachie also due to leave the club ahead of October’s resumption of the 2020 AFC Champions League.
Nabbout, who scored as Melbourne eliminated 2018 AFC Champions League winners Kashima Antlers in the playoff phase for this year’s competition, is currently in his second stint with Victory after joining from Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds last year.
Donachie, meanwhile, will play for Newcastle Jets next season, although the pair will be available for Melbourne’s final game of the regular A-League season against Western Sydney Wanderers on Wednesday.
Gomis scores at both ends as Al Hilal edge closer to Saudi Pro League title
Riyadh: Bafetimbi Gomis stole the show yet again with the striker scoring three times as Al Hilal SFC edged closer to the 2019-20 Saudi Pro League title on Monday.
Al Hilal defeated Al Fateh 2-1, with Gomis scoring an own goal after having given the reigning AFC Champions League titleholders the lead in the 38th minute from the penalty spot at the King Saud University Stadium.
It was the French striker's 17th goal of the season but he inadvertently allowed Al Fateh back into the match when he deflected the ball into Al Hilal's net following a corner in the 53rd minute.
Madrid: Japan international Takefusa Kubo has joined Villarreal on a one-year loan deal from Real Madrid, the 34-time Spanish champions announced on Monday.
The highly-rated 19-year-old winger, who signed for Real last summer after a three-season stint with FC Tokyo, will play for the Yellow Submarine next season after a similar spell with Real Mallorca during the recently concluded La Liga campaign.
Kubo scored four times in 35 league games during his loan stint in Mallorca, but his fine form was not enough to keep the club in the top flight of Spanish football.