Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo-led Al Nassr crash out of AFC Champions League after penalty shoot-out defeat to Al-Ain

Cristiano Ronaldo-led Al Nassr crashed out of the AFC Champions League after losing to Al-Ain on penalties on March 11.

Al-Ain won the first leg 1-0 at home, while the second leg ended 4-3 in Al Nassr’s favour after 120 minutes. A penalty shoot-out ensued, which the visitors won 3-1 as the hosts crashed out after an embarrassing display from the spot.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s performance against Al-Ain

The Portuguese superstar gave it his all but could not manage to pull Al Nassr across the line. He played the entire duration of the game, attempting a whopping 13 shots, with just four on target. Ronaldo passed the ball with 92% accuracy, including three key passes and two long balls.

He was also strong on and off the ball, winning four duels and also winning two free-kicks for his side. He scored a penalty in the 118th minute under tremendous pressure to take the game to penalties. Cristiano Ronaldo was the only player from his team who scored in the shoot-out, with all the other three takers squandering theirs.

This brings an end to Cristiano Ronaldo’s AFC Champions League campaign this season. He made eight appearances, all of which were starts, scoring six goals and providing one assist in the process.

Al Nassr’s shortcomings against Al-Ain

Despite being only one goal down, things were not straightforward for Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr in the second leg. They found themselves 3-0 down on aggregate just before half-time as Al-Ain raced into a two-goal lead in the second leg. Abdulrahman Ghareeb’s goal just before the break gave the hosts a glimmer of hope.

Al Nassr fans turned up in full spirit. (Getty Images)

Khalid Eisa’s own goal then brought Al Nassr back to within a goal of their rivals, while Alex Telles sent the crowd into raptures when he made it 3-2 after 72 minutes. All the hosts had to do was to sit tight defensively and play simple football to see out the game. Ayman Ahmed’s straight red card in the first period of extra-time derailed all their plans as Luis Castro’s men were left with a mountain to climb.

Al-Ain scored shortly after the sending off but Cristiano Ronaldo’s late penalty ensured the game went to penalties. There too, Marcelo Brozovic, Alex Telles and Otavio missed in a shocking display of penalties.

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