Coach Hajime Moriyasu among Asian Award Winners

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu gestures during the World Cup match against Spain in Qatar on Dec. 1, 2022.

DOHA (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s Salem Al-Dawsari was named the men’s player of the year by the Asian Football Confederation on Tuesday and Sam Kerr of Australia won the women’s prize.

Al-Dawsari scored the winning goal in Saudi Arabia’s 2-1 victory over eventual champion Argentina in the 2022 World Cup. The winger also played a major role in Al-Hilal reaching the final of the 2023 Asian Champions League.

Al-Dawsari beat Almoez Ali of Qatar and Australia’s Mathew Leckie and became the sixth Saudi player to win the award.

It capped a successful day for Saudi Arabia, which appears all but certain to host the men’s 2034 World Cup after the Australian soccer federation decided not to enter the bidding contest.

There was some consolation for Australia as Kerr received the accolade for a second time after helping English club Chelsea to a league and cup double.

Hajime Moriyasu was named as the men’s coach of the year after leading Japan to the second round of the World Cup, defeating Germany and Spain in the group stage. China’s Shui Qingxia won the female coaching award.