HomeFootball NewsRonaldo's Al-Nassr Exit Asian Champions League in Dramatic Penalty Shootout

Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr Exit Asian Champions League in Dramatic Penalty Shootout

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr crashed out of the Asian Champions League in the quarter-finals on Monday, losing 3-1 on penalties to Al-Ain of the United Arab Emirates.

Despite overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit to win 4-3 on the night, Al-Nassr’s hopes were dashed in the shootout, with imports Miroslav Brozovic, Alex Telles, and Otavio failing to score from the spot.

The pulsating encounter at Al-Awwal Park featured seven goals and a red card, but Al-Ain goalkeeper Khalid Eisa emerged as the hero. He saved Brozovic’s opening penalty and set the stage for his team’s victory.

Thrilling First Half

Al-Ain, who had won the first leg 1-0, seized control of the match in the opening 45 minutes. Soufiane Rahimi, who scored the winner in the first leg, put the visitors ahead with a goal in the 28th minute. He doubled their lead just before halftime with a clinical finish.

Al-Nassr, however, refused to give up. Abdulrahman Ghareeb pulled one back for the hosts five minutes into injury time, giving them a glimmer of hope heading into the second half.

Second-Half Comeback

Al-Nassr continued to press forward after the break, and their efforts were rewarded in the 51st minute when Al-Ain goalkeeper Khalid Eisa deflected Otavio’s low drive into his own goal.

The equalizer came in the 72nd minute, courtesy of a low free kick from Alex Telles that flew through a crowd of players and beat Eisa.

Extra Time and Penalty Shootout

The match remained level at 3-3 after 90 minutes, sending it into extra time. Al-Nassr’s hopes blew when Ayman Yahya was sent off for a reckless tackle in the 98th minute.

A minute later, Al-Ain thought they had won it when Sultan Al Shamsi capitalized on a handling error by Al-Nassr goalkeeper Raghid Najjar. However, Ronaldo kept his team alive by scoring a penalty in the 120th minute after being brought down in the area.

The match went to a penalty shootout, and Al-Ain held its nerve. Rahimi, Kaku, and Al Shamsi all converted their spot-kicks, while Brozovic, Telles, and Otavio missed for Al-Nassr.

Ronaldo’s Disappointment

The defeat was a significant disappointment for Ronaldo, who had joined Al-Nassr in January to win the Asian Champions League for the first time.

The Portuguese superstar scored four goals in the competition this season, but he could not inspire his team to win in the crucial quarter-final.

Al-Ain’s Historic Achievement

Al-Ain’s victory was a historic achievement for the club. It was their first time reaching the semi-finals of the Asian Champions League since 2016.

They will now face Al-Hilal or Al-Ittihad from Saudi Arabia in the semi-finals next month.



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