East Asia Wrap: Ulsan go level with Jeonbuk, Vissel chase down Marinos
Hong Kong: K League 1 looks set to go down to the final day of the season once more after leaders Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors were beaten by Suwon FC, allowing Ulsan Hyundai to go level on points with two games to play after overcoming Jeju United.
In Japan, while the title race is done and dusted, Vissel Kobe still have aspirations of finishing second, and their victory over Yokohama FC, coupled with Yokohama F. Marinos’ defeat to Urawa Red Diamonds, means that dream remains a reality with two games left to play.
Elsewhere in East Asia, there was action in Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei, so join the-AFC.com as we bring you up to speed with the four leagues.
Al Hilal power past Pohang Steelers to create history
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal SFC claimed a record fourth AFC Champions League title on Tuesday as goals from Nasser Al Dawsari and Moussa Marega earned Leonardo Jardim’s side a 2-0 win over FC Pohang Steelers at the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh.
Al Dawsari’s stunner just 16 seconds into the game was the fastest goal ever scored in an AFC Champions League final and it sent Al Hilal on the way to adding the 2021 title to the Asian crowns claimed by the club in 1991, 2000 and 2019.
Marega added the decisive second 18 minutes into the second half to delight of the majority in the 50,171-strong crowd and ensure the Riyadh-based club now stand alone at the top of the continental honours list with one more title win than Pohang.
2021 AFC Champions League MVP Al Dawsari hungry for more honours
Riyadh: Al Hilal winger Salem Al Dawsari was adamant he is more motivated than ever to win more honours, both for the team and individually, after being named the 2021 AFC Champions League Most Valuable Player.
The 30-year-old lifted his second AFC Champions League trophy in his fourth final, having started and lost the 2014 decider against Western Sydney Wanderers and the 2017 final against Urawa Red Diamonds, before helping the club win the next two against Urawa in 2019 and on Tuesday against Pohang Steelers.
He joins a select group of players to have competed in as many finals, dominated by Al Hilal players current and past such as Mohammed Al Shalhoub (2000, 2014, 2017 and 2019), Saud Kariri (2004, 2005, 2009 and 2014) as well as current teammates Yasser Al Shahrani and Salman Al Faraj.
Al Duhail’s Michael Olunga scoops 2021 AFC Champions League Top Scorer Award
Riyadh: Al Duhail’s Michael Olunga was crowned the 2021 AFC Champions League’s top scorer on Tuesday, finishing with a tournament-best of nine goals.
Olunga’s feat of nine goals in six games makes him the first Kenyan and Al Duhail player to win the prestigious award, scoring in every group stage game with his goals coming from set-pieces, distance, inside the area or via headers.
The-AFC.com revisits Olunga’s complete forward’s display in the 2021 AFC Champions League, with the striker denied a chance to add to his tally after Al Duhail were eliminated at the group stage.
Dushanbe: A stunning six-goal second half ensured Islamic Republic of Iran won the CAFA U15 Championship, edging out hosts Tajikistan on goal difference on a dramatic final day.
Coming into Tuesday’s fixtures second on the table, the Iranians powered to an 8-0 win over Kyrgyz Republic, with Tajikistan’s 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan later in the day not enough to bridge the goal difference gap.
Held at Dushanbe’s Central Republican Stadium, the tournament gave some of Central Asia’s most promising youngsters crucial international experience ahead of next year’s AFC U17 Asian Cup Qualifiers.