Kuala Lumpur: With several of Asia’s teams springing back into action, the November international window gave players old and new the chance to shine once more in their national colours.
From youngsters making their way in the international game to long-time veterans, we’ve picked 10 of the best performers over the last 10 days, now it’s up to you to determine the standout player.
Here are our contenders for the November international window.
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Abdullah Al Hamdan (Saudi Arabia)
30 minutes, 1 assist, 83% pass accuracy (3-0 v Jamaica)
90 minutes, 1 goal (1-2 v Jamaica)
An AFC U-19 Championship winner in 2018, Abdullah Al Hamdan did his reputation as a rising star of Saudi football no harm with a notable pair of performances against Jamaica over the past week.
The 21-year-old Al Shabab forward set up Firas Al Buraikan’s late goal in a 30-minute cameo in the first match against the Reggae Boyz, then made the most of a start in the second clash, impressively slotting home his fourth goal in only 11 senior international appearances.
Mohammed Al Romaihi (Bahrain)
86 minutes, 1 goal, 10 duels won (1-0 v Tajikistan)
90 minutes, 2 goals, 7 interceptions (3-1 v UAE)
*Data unavailable (3-1 v Lebanon)
The scorer of the opening goal at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, and the winning goal in the final of the 2019 Gulf Cup, Mohammed Al Romaihi and international football have got along famously in recent times, and his streak continued with three goals during the November break.
The 30-year-old bagged the matchwinner against Tajikistan, then scored two classic poacher's goals to help his side see off the UAE, with Hélio Sousa’s side stretching their unbeaten run to six matches.
Hwang Ui-jo (Korea Republic)
64 minutes, 1 goal, 91% pass accuracy (2-3 v Mexico)
87 minutes, 1 goal, 1 assist (2-1 v Qatar)
It wasn’t the easiest international break for Korea Republic, but one player who is likely to look back happily on this week’s camp in Austria is Hwang Ui-jo, who returned to form in emphatic style.
Goalless since February for French club Bordeaux, the former Gamba Osaka man netted against both Mexico and Qatar, also putting the opening goal on a silver platter for Hwang Hee-chan in the latter match, in a highly productive week.
Mousa Al Taamari (Jordan)
90 minutes, 86% pass accuracy, 18 duels won (0-0 v Iraq)
90 minutes, 1 secondary assist, 20 duels won (1-0 v Syria)
A recent arrival in the top flight of Belgian football, Jordan’s outstanding talent shone bright for the national team, who went undefeated in a pair of matches against Iraq and Syria.
The 23-year-old was a constant threat in both matches, and played a key role in Baha’ Faisal’s decisive goal against Syria, as Al Nashama collected their first win of 2020.
Kaveh Rezaei (IR Iran)
63 minutes, 1 goal, 8 duels won (2-0 v Bosnia & Herzegovina)
In the middle of a terrific season for Belgian high-flyers Charleroi, Rezaei successfully carried his club form over to the international stage as IR Iran scored an impressive victory in Sarajevo.
With the game level at half-time, Rezaei expertly picked out the bottom corner of the net just seconds after the interval, ending a two-year goal drought in the national team shirt.
Vahid Amiri (IR Iran)
78 minutes, 1 assist, 74% pass accuracy (2-0 v Bosnia & Herzegovina)
With an AFC Champions League final to look forward to next month, Persepolis star Vahid Amiri showed his value at international level, performing strongly as Team Melli picked up a second successive win under new head coach Dragan Skočić.
The 32-year-old provided a number of probing passes in attacking areas, including the assist for Rezaei’s opening goal.
Saad Uddin (Bangladesh)
90 minutes, 1 assist, 92% pass accuracy (2-0 v Nepal)
90 minutes (0-0 v Nepal)
With part of Dhaka’s Bangabandhu National Stadium adorned with a banner reading “Football is back”, 22-year-old Saad Uddin almost instantly gave Bangladesh fans reason to hope for a bright future.
Twelve minutes into the national team’s first match in 10 months, the Dhaka Abahani Limited winger produced a sensational assist for Mohammad Nabib Ziban’s opening goal, as Bangladesh went on to record a spirit-lifting 2-0 win.
Mohanad Ali (Iraq)
64 minutes, 100% pass accuracy (0-0 v Jordan)
84 minutes, 1 goal (2-1 v Uzbekistan)
One of Asia’s brightest young prospects issued a fresh reminder of his ruthlessness in front of goal, scoring to spark a come-from-behind win for Iraq against Uzbekistan on Tuesday.
Ali took full of advantage of the space he was afforded by the Uzbekistan defence, squeezing the ball past Abduvakhid Nematov to bring up his 15th senior international goal at just 20 years of age.
Ibrahim Bayesh (Iraq)
90 minutes, 15 duels won, 5 successful dribbles (0-0 v Jordan)
88 minutes, 1 assist (2-1 v Uzbekistan)
Supplying the pass for Ali’s goal was another youngster, Ibrahim Bayesh, who excelled during both of Iraq’s matches in the November window.
An AFC Cup winner at the age of 18 two years ago, the Air Force Club midfielder shone both with and without the ball, further announcing himself as one of many talented young players in Srečko Katanec's player pool.
Ali Mabkhout (United Arab Emirates)
90 minutes, 2 goals, 1 assist (3-2 v Tajikistan)
48 minutes, 1 assist, 83% pass accuracy (1-3 v Bahrain)
United Arab Emirates may currently be experiencing defensive difficulties, but they will remain dangerous in front of goal, so long as Ali Mabkhout is in the team.
The national team’s all-time top-scorer was directly involved in four of his side’s goals in their matches against Tajikistan and Bahrain, taking the 30-year-old’s international record to a remarkable 65 goals in 85 matches.
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