Three Iranians shortlisted for AFC Intl. Player of Week

TEHRAN, Jan. 21 (MNA) – Alireza Beiranvand, Amir Abedzadeh and Mehdi Taremi have been shortlisted for the AFC International Player of the Week. has published a 10-player list in which the fans can vote for their favorite players until January 27.

The four Iranian players will vie with Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais, Japan), Lee Jae-sung (Holstien Kiel, Korea Republic), Musa Al Taamari (OH Leuven, Jordan), Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur, Korea Republic), Emily Van Egmond (West Ham United, Australia) and Jeong Woo-yeong (SC Freiburg, Korea Republic).

Two Iranian shot-stoppers produced clean sheet heroics, and Alaa Abbas and Hwang Ui-jo both found the back of the net this week. Lee Jae-sung beat the champions of Europe, while Ellie Carpenter and Saki Kumagai both starred in France.

Fans can vote for their player of the week on the AFC website.

Alaa Abbas (Gil Vicente, Iraq)

  • 79 minutes, 1 goal, 87% pass accuracy, 10 duels won (3-2 v Académico de Viseu)
  • 23 minutes (0-1 v Maritimo)

A first goal in Portuguese football, and a first nomination in this poll for Alaa Abbas, who scored with an excellent strike for new club Gil Vicente in his first start.

A league winner in Kuwait last season, Abbas’ goal helped Gil Vicente through to the quarter-finals of the Portuguese Cup, where they will face holders FC Porto.


Akehiro Tomiyasu (Bologna, Japan)

  • 90 minutes, 16 duels won, 10 interceptions (1-0 Hellas Verona)

The Japanese defensive prodigy returns to our list after yet another excellent display in Italy’s Serie A, where Bologna kept a clean sheet to register three points against Verona.

Deployed in a central defensive role, 22-year-old Tomiyasu continued his fine form to be one of Bologna’s best performers in a match where Verona were limited to just one shot on target.


Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais, Japan)

  • 65 minutes, 52 passes completed, 95% pass accuracy (3-0 v Stade de Reims)

The reigning AFC Women’s Player of the Year delivered another excellent midfield performance as the all-conquering Lyon breezed to a league win over Reims in France.

In her last five appearances, Kumagai has completed 374 passes at the barely believable rate of 94.6% accuracy, with Lyon winning on all five occasions.


Ellie Carpenter (Olympique Lyonnais, Australia)

  • 90 minutes, 82 passes completed, 6 shot assists, 12 duels won (3-0 v Stade de Reims)

In the same line-up as Kumagai was Australian youngster Ellie Carpenter, who continues to take to life at one of the world’s most successful clubs like a duck to water.

The 20-year-old completed a season-high 82 passes and ran the Reims defense ragged, supplying an excellent six-shot assists in a commanding performance.


Hwang Ui-jo (Bordeaux, Korea Republic)

  • 85 minutes, 1 goal, 89% pass accuracy, 3 successful dribbles (3-0 v OGC Nice)

The Korean striker’s happy new year continued with his first goal of 2021, as he swept the ball home from close range to help Bordeaux to three points on the French Riviera.

Hwang has now scored three times in his last six Ligue 1 outings, with his goal drought earlier in the campaign now a distant memory.

Lee Jae-sung (Holstein Kiel, Korea Republic)

  • 120 minutes, 80% pass accuracy, 13 duels won (2-2 v Bayern Munich)
  • 35 minutes, 1 assist, 81% pass accuracy (2-3 v Karlsruher)

It was also a week to remember for former Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors star Lee Jae-sung, who played an important role in second-tier Holstein Kiel’s shock DFB Pokal win over European champions Bayern.

Lee performed well throughout, scored in the penalty shootout, and supplied an assist in the league on Sunday to seal a deserved second appearance in our AFC International Player of the Week list this season.


Alireza Beiranvand (Royal Antwerp, IR Iran)

  • 90 minutes, 4 saves, 2 reflex saves, 91% pass accuracy (1-0 v KAA Gent)

Team Melli goalkeeper Alrieza Beiranvand has had to be patient in his first season at Royal Antwerp, but he delivered arguably his best performance at the club so far on Sunday, earning Player of the Match honors in a 1:0 win on the road.

Gent simply couldn’t find a way past the former Persepolis shot-stopper, who kept his first clean sheet in European club football.


Amir Abedzadeh (Maritimo, IR Iran)

  • 90 minutes, 2 saves, 1 reflex save (1-0 v Gil Vicente)

One of the best performing Asian goalkeepers in Europe this season, Abedzadeh made impressive saves as Maritimo gained three crucial points against Gil Vicente.

Including his national team performance against Bosnia-Herzegovina in November, Abedzadeh has now kept an excellent five clean sheets in his last eight games.


Mehdi Taremi (FC Porto, IR Iran)

  • 72 minutes, 1 assist, 78% pass accuracy (1-1 v Benfica)

FC Porto’s in-form Iranian striker officially recorded an assist in Portugal’s O Clássico but it was every bit as good as a goal, with Taremi’s shot deflecting off strike partner Moussa Marega before finding the back of the net.

Taremi now has five goals and two assists in his last five matches, but his evening against Benfica ended 15 minutes early due to a VAR-assisted red card for a late challenge.


Wataru Endo (VfB Stuttgart, Japan)

  • 90 minutes, 87% pass accuracy, 11 duels won (2-2 v Borussia Mönchengladbach)

A typically solid midfield performance from Japan’s Endo, who contributed well in both attack and defence in an entertaining 2-2 draw against Mönchengladbach.

The 25-cap international is enjoying a highly impressive first season in the Bundesliga, where newly promoted Stuttgart sit comfortably mid-table half-way through the campaign.


News Code 168839


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