LNTUP

Omar Khribin named Asia’s Player of the Year

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Omar Khribin has become the first Syrian to win the AFC Player of the Year award after pipping the UAE’s Omar Abdulrahman, last year’s winner, and Wu Lei of China at a ceremony in Bangkok.

Khribin, 23, finished top scorer in this year’s Asian Champions League, although his 10 goals were not enough for Hilal to clinch the crown. On Saturday, they were beaten 1-0 by Japan’s Urawa Red Diamonds in the second leg of the final and lost the showpiece 2-1 on aggregate.

Khribin also played an integral role in Syria’ surprise run to the play-offs for next summer’s World Cup. Last month, his side lost to Asian champions Australia 3-2 on aggregate having taken the tie to extra time.

Omar Abdulrahman, the Al Ain and UAE playmaker, finished second in the voting. He scored 7 goals for Al Ain this season in AFC Champions League, before losing his award to Omar Khribin.

The Shanghai SIPG winger Wu Lei finished third among the nominees. He scored 5 goals for Shanghai this season in AFC Champions League and was China’s main man in qualification for 2019 AFC Asian Cup.