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Ronaldo's Champions League dream shattered as Al-Nasr suffers penalty heartbreak against Al-Ain

Posted : 12 March 2024

At the age of 39, football legend Cristiano Ronaldo's aspirations to add the Asian Champions League to his illustrious career were shattered as his Al-Nasr team faced a heartbreaking exit. Despite a valiant effort, Al-Nasr succumbed to a 3-1 defeat in a penalty shootout against Al-Ain after an exhilarating quarter-final clash.


Soufian Rahimi's crucial double put Al-Ain ahead, but Al-Nasr mounted a comeback, with Abdul Rahman-Garib scoring just before halftime. Ronaldo, however, experienced a significant miss, kicking wide in front of an empty net.


Despite Ronaldo's miss, Al-Nasr rallied, equalizing on aggregate with a Khalid Issa own goal and a goal from Alex Teles. The match went into extra time, where Al-Nasr's Ayman Yaha received a red card, reducing them to ten men.


Sultan Al Shami's penalty leveled the score at 3-3, and Ronaldo controversially converted another penalty in the 118th minute, forcing a penalty shootout. Unfortunately for Al-Nasr, they faltered in the shootout, with Marcelo Brozovic and Alex Teles missing kicks, resulting in a 3-1 victory for Al-Ain.


The defeat is a significant setback for Al-Nasr, already trailing 12 points behind Al-Hilal in the Saudi league. Al-Ain, on the other hand, advances to the Champions League semi-finals, likely facing Al-Hilal, having secured a 2-0 victory against Al-Ittihad in the first leg.


Notably, Israeli player Omar Azili was excluded from Al-Ain's squad for the Asian Champions League, highlighting the intense competition for foreign player slots in the tournament. Coach Hernan Crespo opted not to include Azili in the limited foreign player registration for the game.


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