AFC Champions League 2018: Kashima Antlers’ Yuma Suzuki wins MVP award

AFC Champions League 2019: Ulsan Hyundai 0-3 Urawa Red Diamonds (Ewerton 87′)

Kashima Antlers’ long wait for the elusive AFC Champions League trophy is finally over! The most successful side in J-League’s history beat FC Persepolis over two-legs to win the coveted title. However, there was a more personal achievement for one of the Antlers’ as Yuma Suzuki took home the MVP award for the tournament. 

The Antlers had to wait 16 years for their first AFC Champions League title. However, the moment finally arrived after they beat Persepolis 2-0 on aggregate.

The J-League side took a two-goal advantage with them to Iran, courtesy of first-leg goals from Serginho and Leo Silva. They then held on for 90 minutes in Persepolis’ home ground to finally get a hold of the Champions League title.

However, post-match, everyone’s eyes were on the MVP award, which was ultimately awarded to Kashima’s Yuma Suzuki. The 22-year-old striker may have had a night to forget during the second leg but his contributions throughout the tournament meant that he walked home with the MVP trophy.

The young striker had just two goals to his name for this edition of the tournament but played a pivotal role in Kashima Antlers’ success. The Japanese forward follows compatriot Yosuke Kashigawa as the tournament MVP, who won the award last year.