Ali Ashfaq (Dhagandey) has won the “AFC Cup Bracket Challenge”, the online voting challenge held to select the best goal of AFC Cup in the last decade.
Ashfaq won this challenge after easily defeating Chan Siu Ki of South China AA claiming a staggering 89.14% of the votes.
The challenge involved 32 players who have scored great goals in the AFC Cup in the last decade, handpicked by the AFC. The challenge was a knockout basis tournament where the winner was decided by a popular vote in the AFC website.
The goal of Ashfaq that featured in the challenge was the electrifying goal he scored for New Radiant against Indonesia’s Persibo Bojonegoro in a match which New Radiant won 7-0 in 2013.
Maldivian supporters played a huge role in carrying Ashfaq to the final of this challenge. From Quarter Finals onwards, Maldivians started a strong campaign to support Ashfaq in this challenge which included a Viber community group to campaign for votes. Ashfaq qualified to the final of the challenge after defeating Nguyen Quang Hai of Vietnam in the semi-final.
When Ashfaq qualified to the final, all supporters of Ashfaq got fully behind him in patriotic energy to give the title to their beloved hero. They faced players of bigger and more populous countries throughout this challenge but did not hold back in firing Ashfaq to a win each and every time.
After winning this challenge Ashfaq greatly applauded everyone who participated in this great campaign. Ashfaq tweeted stating that Maldivians have showed that having a less population is not a limit when everyone works together. He further stated that this win is for all Maldivians and Maldivian football.
Even though we are a less populous country, we have showed that it is not something that can hold us back when we all work togetherAli Ashfaq
Ashfaq is among the top 10 scorers who played in the AFC cup, and is ranked 6th for the 29 goals that he scored for Valencia Club, New Radiant and VB Addu FC. The Spanish player Bienvenido Marañón who played for the Philippine FC Ceres-Negros is ranked 1st on the list with 35 goals indicating that Ashfaq needs 6 more goals to top the list.
Written By: Sarah Mohamed Shareef
Media Team, MNUSU
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