Kerr, Kubo, Al Dawsari and Wang: Asia’s Best at the Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo: Faster, higher and stronger; They were the Asian footballing stars who shone brightest at the Games of the 32nd Olympiad.
With four teams across the men’s and women’s competitions reaching the knockout stage and two going all the way to the medal rounds, there was plenty for Asia to shout out about during this year’s Olympic football feast,
After a year without major international competitions, Asia’s chase for Olympic gold produced ecstasy, heartbreak, classic contests and exceptional individual performances.
Whether it was Sam Kerr’s record-breaking exploits for Australia, the emergence of Takefusa Kubo as the next Japanese superstar, the valiant efforts of Salem Al Dawsari and Wang Shuang or the new faces who emerged alongside them, the continent’s leading lights came to play.
Join the-AFC.com as we highlight and celebrate several of the continent’s standout individuals from the Tokyo Olympics football tournaments, and invite you to vote for the best performer of all.
Tokyo Olympics: Japan's Moriyasu looks forward after heartbreak against Mexico
Saitama: Hajime Moriyasu sought to strike a positive tone as he looked to the future after seeing his Japan side miss out on a medal at the Olympic Games Men's Football following their 3-1 loss to Mexico on Friday.
Kaoru Mitoma scored with 12 minutes remaining to give Japan hope late in the game, but earlier goals via Sebastian Cordova’s penalty and headers from Johan Vasquez and Alexis Vega ensured the Mexicans had a big enough advantage to claim the bronze medal.
The loss means Japan’s wait for a second Olympic medal in the men’s tournament will extend for least another three years as Moriyasu sought to lead the country to a place on the podium for the first time since 1968.
Tokyo Olympics: “Don’t forget this feeling,” says Gustavsson after bronze eludes Australia
Ibaraki: Australian women’s national team head coach Tony Gustavsson has called on his side to bottle the feeling of disappointment which came after Thursday’s defeat to the United States in the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal match.
Chasing the nation’s first ever Olympic football medal, the Matildas’ sharp attacking performance was undermined by a series of defensive errors in a match that ultimately finished in a 4-3 win for the world champions.
Megan Rapinoe and Carli Lloyd scored twice each to put the Americans 4-1 up just after half time, but goals from Caitlin Foord and Emily Gielnik brought Australia back into the contest after Sam Kerr had become the team’s all-time record goal scorer earlier in the match.
Vote for your best 2021 AFC Champions League Group Stage Team: Goalkeeper
Kuala Lumpur: After the conclusion of the 2021 AFC Champions League group stage in July, the-AFC.com looks back on some of the standout displays from those involved in order to find out the Best XI from the first round. We begin with the goalkeepers.
To select the candidates for each position, we have reflected on match data from the group stage to draw up a statistics-based approach to present the outstanding performers.
We kick things off with five standout goalkeepers for the all-important number one jersey. Review the nominees and then choose who you think should take the position as the last line of defence in this all-star XI in the poll below.
2021 AFC Champions League Group Stage – 5 of the Best: Team Goals
Kuala Lumpur: The-AFC.com's '5 of the Best' spotlight on 2021 AFC Champions League group stage action this week highlights goals that are far more about the collective than the individual.
Having already reviewed some sensational strikes in the form of long-range rockets and set-piece specials we turn to moves that were perfected on the training ground before being played out on the continental stage. After reviewing the five teams goals, vote for your favourite at the bottom of the article.
Foolad Khouzestan edge Esteghlal on penalties to win Hazfi Cup
Isfahan: Foolad Khouzestan closed the Islamic Republic of Iran's domestic season in style, beating Esteghlal on penalties to lift the Hazfi Cup on Sunday.
Locked at 0-0 after 120 minutes, Javad Nekounam’s side held their nerve to convert all four of their spot-kicks, with unsuccessful efforts from Esteghlal’s Farshid Esmaeili and Dariush Shojaeian handing the victory to Foolad.
The win is Foolad’s first ever Hazfi Cup triumph, and one which will see them return to the continental stage next season.