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Mehdi Taremi, Sam Kerr, Ritsu Doan and more: Vote for your AFC International Player of the Week!


Kuala Lumpur: While Asian-based stars light up the AFC Champions League, the continent’s global ambassadors continue to shine on the world stage.

Among this week’s contenders, Ritsu Doan helps consign one of Germany’s biggest clubs to relegation, Mehdi Taremi continues his Portuguese purple patch and Sam Kerr plays a crucial role in the English title race as one of a record four women’s AFC International Player of the Week nominees.

With 10 players from five nations in contention, study our list of nominees – for performances from April 15 to 21 – and don’t forget to register your all-important vote.

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Ritsu Doan (Arminia Bielefeld, Japan)
85 minutes, 4 shot assists, 5 successful dribbles, 5 interceptions (1-0 v Schalke 04)

On a night where German giants Schalke had their relegation confirmed, Japan’s Ritsu Doan was one of their chief tormentors, causing all sorts of problems on the right wing and, while he wasn’t rewarded with a goal, he was one of the game’s standout players.


Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto, IR Iran)
74 minutes, 1 goal, 8 duels won, 2 interceptions (1-0 v Nacional)

Five days after his sensational UEFA Champions League goal against Chelsea, last week’s winner Mehdi Taremi was at it again in league action, this time chopping off a clearance from Nacional goalkeeper António Filipe before tucking away the winning goal in a 1-0 triumph. His third in as many matches.


Sam Kerr (Chelsea, Australia)
90 minutes, 1 goal, 1 penalty won (2-2 v Manchester City)

It was a forgettable international break for Kerr and Australia, but the champion striker bounced back into club duties with a star showing in Chelsea’s 2-2 FA Women’s Super League draw against Manchester City on Wednesday, keeping her side two points clear on top with two games left in the season.


Yui Hasegawa (AC Milan, Japan)
74 minutes, 1 goal, 82% pass accuracy, 100% pass accuracy into penalty area (4-0 v Napoli)

One of Japan’s best, Yui Hasegawa continues to show her class in her first season of Italian football, scoring with an opportunistic header to cap an excellent individual performance as second-placed Milan proved far too strong for Napoli.


Milad Mohammadi (KAA Gent, IR Iran)
90 minutes, 2 assists, 89% pass accuracy, 88% duels won (7-2 v Zulte-Waregem)

A blistering display from the Iranian left-back, who set up two goals, won 15 of 17 duels and barely missed a pass as Genk ran riot to put seven goals past Zulte-Waregem in the final went of the regular season in Belgium.


Ali Gholizadeh (RSC Charleroi, IR Iran)
89 minutes, 1 goal, 44 passes completed, 7 successful dribbles (2-3 v Eupen)

After a strong start, Charleroi’s Belgian Pro League season ultimately petered out to a 13th-place finish, but no one would have been disappointed in the efforts of Ali Gholizadeh, who curled home a lovely goal to cap a memorable individual campaign.


Parvizjon Umarboev (Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Tajikistan)
87 minutes, 44 passes completed, 92% pass accuracy, 4 shot assists (1-0 v Montana)

Something of a quiet achiever, Tajikistan’s Parvizjon Umarboev continues to shine bright in Bulgaria, most recently delivering a near-faultless display to help Lokomotiv Plovdiv rise to second on the league table.


Saori Takarada (Washington Spirit, Japan)
90 minutes, 54 passes completed, 86% defensive duels won, 5 interceptions (1-0 v Racing Louisville)

A star striker when Japan won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2018, Saori Takarada has since reinvented herself as a central defender, and she excelled in that role in her first competitive clash in US club football, helping Washington Spirit to a win and a clean sheet in the NWSL Challenge Cup on Friday.


Ahmed Awad (Ostersunds, Palestine)
15 minutes, 1 goal, 86% pass accuracy (5-0 v Örebro)

How to make an impact as a substitute, by Ahmed Awad. The Palestinian forward wasted absolutely no time in leaving his mark on his first league outing of the season, scoring with his first touch as Ostersunds powered to a big win against Örebro.


Emily van Egmond (West Ham United, Australia)
45 minutes, 4 goals (11-0 v Chichester City)
90 minutes, statistics not available (0-0 v Aston Villa)

It may not have come against the strongest opposition West Ham United will face all season, but four goals in one half of football is impressive at any level. Emily van Egmond was unstoppable in her side’s FA Women’s Cup thrashing of Chichester, scoring in the second, sixth, 20th and 23rd minutes.


Photos: West Ham United, AFP

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