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Kuala Lumpur: Kim Yu-song of DPR Korea’s 4.25 SC has claimed the AFC Cup Top Scorer award after netting nine goals in just six appearances in the competition.

The striker finished a goal ahead of Gabriel Guerra of Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim, Bienvenido Maranon of the Philippines’ Ceres Negros and Stipe Plazibat of Singapore’s Home United.

With 4.25 SC eliminated from the tournament at the Inter-Zone semi-final stage by India’s JSW Bengaluru, Kim’s involvement in his maiden AFC Cup was brought to a premature end.

Kim (No 18), in action against Erchim FC.

But he remained on top of the scoring charts ahead of Saturday’s final between holders Air Force Club of Iraq and Tajikistan’s FC Istiklol, with only the latter’s Manuchehr Dzhalilov – on seven goals prior to kick off – having any realistic chance of catching the striker.

Dzhalilov, though, was unable to add to his tally as Air Force Club ran out 1-0 winners and Kim’s nine goals proved enough to confirm him as the top scorer.

“Kim Yu-song is a really good player, he is our striker and he does a really good job for the team,” said 4.25 SC captain An Il-bom prior to the clash with Bengaluru in August.

Kim’s campaign got off to the best possible start when he enjoyed an incredible five-goal haul in a 6-0 victory over Mongolia’s Erchim FC in Pyongyang.

His sixth goal of the tournament was ultimately his most important as it secured a 2-2 draw with domestic rivals Kigwancha SC in the 98th minute.

Kim scores a hat-trick as 4.25 SC defeat Mongolia’s Erchim FC 5-0.

Erchim would have been glad to see the back of Kim after the forward scored a hat-trick in the return meeting in Ulaanbaatar in a 5-0 win as 4.25 SC edged Kigwancha by virtue of a marginally better head-to-head record to advance to the knockout rounds.

Kim was surprisingly left on the bench for the trip to Bengaluru in the Inter-Zone semi-final first leg but was brought on shortly before half-time; however, the East Asians were on the wrong end of a 3-0 scoreline.

Needing a big victory at home in the second leg - 4.25 SC, and Kim - were unable to breach the Bengaluru backline as a scoreless draw saw the debutants exit the tournament.

Kim’s nine goals, though, would not be surpassed as the forward was confirmed the tournament’s leading scorer following Saturday’s final.

Photos: Lagardère Sports

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