Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr left it late to book their passage into the Group Stage of this season’s AFC Champions League on Wednesday. Trailing 1-2 against UAE’s Shabab Al-Ahli till the 87th minute, Al-Nassr scored three late goals to win the match 4-2. Despite Al-Nassr’s reaching the group stage, Ronaldo was left furious after his team was denied multiple clear-cut penalties. The 38-year-old could’ve won three penalties himself, while summer arrival Sadio Mane also had a couple of shouts waved off by the refree.
Ronaldo displayed rare signs of aggression as he was seen fuming at the officials. He was also heard shouting “wake up” towards the referee.
Here is a Thread of All The Penalties NOT given for Al Nassr Tonight… the Agenda against Cristiano Ronaldo is insane pic.twitter.com/eoAJF8exrA
— Albi (@albiFCB7) August 22, 2023
Anderson Talisca, who was recently recalled to the Brazilian national team, was the star off the show for Al-Nassr, scoring twice.
Talisca had opened the scoring in the 11th minute, before Shabab took a 2-1 lead, courtesy Yahya-al-Ghassani’s brace.
However, Nassr equalised with two minutes of normal time remaining, when full-back Sultan Al Ghannam’s header was diverted into his own goal by Walid Abbas.
Their comeback was complete five minutes into the allotted seven minutes of injury time, as Talisca nodded in from close range following Ayman Yahiya’s cross.
Marcelo Brozovic, another new arrival, wrapped up proceedings for the Saudi Arabian side as Ronaldo teed up the Croatian to drill his shot into the net.
The result means Nassr, runners-up domestically last season, move into the group phase, which begins next month. Ronaldo, a five-time UEFA Champions League winner, was making his debut in Asian football’s top club competition after signing for the Riyadh club last December.
The AFC Champions League Group Stage draw will take place in Kuala Lumpur on August 24, 2023 at 01:30 PM IST.
(With AFP Inputs)
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