Taipei: Despite the current COVID-19 pandemic, on the weekend of the 11th and 12th of April, football returned to East Asia with the 2020 season kick off of the Chinese Taipei Premier League. We spoke to two young stars from the men's and women's teams of top-flight side Hang Yuan FC to get their views on playing in one of only a few active domestic football championships in the world.
Highly rated 20-year-old midfield prospect Wu Yen-shu, who idolises Ronaldinho and Son Heung-min, and Hang Yuan FC Women's captain Chen Ying-hui, 21 and a fan of Cristiano Ronaldo and Chinese Taipei veteran Lai Li-chin, revealed their experiences, hopes and goals for this season in an exclusive interview with the-AFC.com.
Kuala Lumpur: The-AFC.com's '5 of the Best' series has taken in some spectacular goals in recent weeks and the latest compilation from the AFC Champions League will not disappoint as we look back at some delightful dead-ball deliveries.
After previously featuring the finest acrobatic goals, solo goals, volleys, long-range screamers and chips, this week's selection sees stunning set-piece specials from some of the biggest names of the Continental game including Paulinho, Theerathon and Abdulrahman, so enjoy the trip down memory lane and vote for your favourite in the poll below!
Teams, star players, coaches: All you need to know about Chinese Taipei Premier League 2020
Taipei: On Sunday, Chinese Taipei will join Belarus and Tajikistan among the few active domestic football leagues in the world with COVID-19 grinding the game to a halt globally.
Founded in 2017 after the folding of the then highest-ranked National First Division Football League, the Chinese Taipei Premier League is set to kick off its fourth season with Tatung FC from Taipei the defending champions.
Goal-fest kicks off Chinese Taipei Premier League 2020
Taipei: With 18 goals coming from the four opening day fixtures, there was plenty of action to savour as the Chinese Taipei domestic season got under way on Sunday.
Early revenge for Taipower
Having seen their hopes of a first Chinese Taipei Premier League title snatched away on the final day of the 2019 season after a home defeat to eventual champions Tatung FC, Chen Kuei-jen's side had a chance for a small measure of payback with a meeting against the holders on the opening day.
A hat-trick in the final – Sergio Ricardo recalls Al Hilal heroics 20 years on
Brasilia: “I put my name in history”.
Only one player has scored a hat-trick in the Premier continental final since the first Asian club champions were crowned more than 50 years ago.
That remarkable feat occurred on April 22, 2000 – 20 years ago today – when Al Hilal’s on-loan Brazilian striker Sergio Ricardo scored a third-minute free-kick, a last-gasp equaliser and a decisive 103rd-minute golden goal to bring the Asian crown back to Riyadh for the second time in history.
Al Hilal’s 3-2 win over a Jubilo Iwata side featuring the likes of Masashi Nakayama and Naohiro Takahara sent a vibrant King Fahd Stadium into euphoria and gave the Saudi giants a title they would need to wait 19 years to replicate.
Etheridge: Hard work, determination will steer Philippines to glory
Kuala Lumpur: Cardiff City and Philippines goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has established himself as one of Asian football’s biggest stars after becoming the first player from Southeast Asia to play in the English Premier League and helping the Azkals climb up the continental rankings.
In the second part of our interview with Cardiff City and Philippines star Etheridge, the goalkeeper talks about the Azkals’ rise over the last decade and his hopes for the country when Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 resume.
Asia's World Cup Heroes: Expert verdict and results!
Kuala Lumpur: Two weeks ago, the-AFC.com profiled five Asian FIFA World Cup heroes from over the years and asked the fans to vote for their favourite. Now, it's the turn of our experts panel.
Given the choice of Sami Al Jaber, Alireza Beiranvand, Tim Cahill, Keisuke Honda and Park Ji-sung, the fans' vote was won by Iranian goalkeeper Beiranvand, with Japan's Honda and Saudi legend Al Jaber coming in second and third place respectively – a decision that goes towards 25 percent of the overall result.