0743 GMT November 29, 2020
Persepolis goalkeeper Hamed Lak was voted the best player of the AFC Champions League (ACL) West zone.
The 29-year-old Iranian claimed 41.55 percent of the votes – registered by the Asian Football Federation (AFC) official website’s viewers – to stand atop the 11-man list.
Esteghlal striker Mehdi Qaedi stood second with 37.5 percent, followed by Lak’s Iraqi teammate Bashar (10.69 percent).
Lak played a massive part in his team’s progress to the competition’s final – set for December 19.
A memorable campaign in September saw Lak, making his first appearances for the club, register five clean sheets in seven outings, conceding only twice from the spot.
The pinnacle of his performances probably came right at the end of the centralized competition in Qatar, when he saved Brazilian center-back Maicon’s spot-kick as Persepolis beat Saudi side Al Nassr in the shootout to secure a place in the final showdown of the Asian elite clubs’ competition for the second time in three years.
Persepolis, beaten in the 2018 final against Japan’s Kashima Antlers, is far from knowing its opponent at this year’s final as the East zone sides, having barely completed the second matchday of the group stage, only resumed their campaign on Wednesday.
Also on the best players list were Esteghlal’s Amir-Arsalan Motahari, Persepolis fullback Siamak Nemati, Shoja Khalilzadeh, now playing for Qatari club Al Rayyan, Reds’ midfielder Kamal Kamyabinia, and his teammate Saeid Aqaei, Al Nassr skipper Abderrazak Hamdallah, Maicon, and Al Sadd’s Baghdad Bounedjah.