Cristiano Ronaldo Pleased To Score His FIRST Goal For Al-Nassr In The AFC Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal in the Asian Champions League on Monday, inspiring Al-Nassr to a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Tajikistan side Istiklol Dushanbe on Monday night, as they maintained their perfect start to this season's ACL.

With Otavio and Sadio Mane rested, Abdulrahman Ghareeb starred on the left flank for the hosts, but it was Cristiano Ronaldo's goal, and Anderson Talisca who netted with two fine finishes to give Al Nassr all three points. 

It was looking bleak for the Riyadh giants at the end of the first half at Al-Awwal Park, despite having more than 80 percent possession and nine attempts on target to the visitors’ one, Al-Nassr found themselves a goal down at the halftime break.

Senin Sebai opened the scoring in the 44th minute, the Ivory Coast forward Sebai converted a ball through to him by Dzenis Beganovic with a squirming shot which slipped through the fingers of Al Nassr goalkeeper Nawaf Al-Aqidi to silence the home fans, and give Istiklol the lead against the run of play.

The frustrations continued for Al Nassr in the second half, until Ronaldo finally scored an equaliser for the hosts in the 66th minute, netting for the seventh consecutive game.

Fed by Ghareeb on the left side of the area, Ronaldo’s first shot was blocked but he delicately pounced on the rebound, as he lifted the loose ball into the net from the edge of the six-yard box for the coolest of finishes, chipping Istiklol keeper Rustam Yatimov from a tight angle.

The goal opened the floodgates as the Saudi Arabian side were soon two goals ahead. Ayman Yahya’s shot bounced off the deck and there was Anderson Talisca at the far post to head his team into the lead in the 72nd minute.

Five minutes later the Brazilian Talisca had a brace as he converted a ball by Ghareeb for his second of the game, which ensured that there was no further worry for Ronaldo, Castro or the home supporters.

It was an excellent performance from Ronaldo who tormented Istiklol defenders on the night. He also had three shots on target, five off target, and made two key passes.

It was Ronaldo’s third match in Asia’s premier club competition, having taken part in a successful qualifier against Shabab Al-Ahli Dubai, and on Group E Matchday 1 against Persepolis of Iran, which Al-Nassr won 2-0, but Ronaldo was not on the scoresheet.

The 38-year-old is currently the top scorer in the Roshn Saudi Pro League with 10 goals, four ahead of his nearest challengers, after eight rounds of matches.

He now sits on 11 goals and six assists in 10 games across competitions, 35 goals, 8 assists, 44 goals involvement in 40 games in 2023.

Cristiano Ronaldo reacted to the win on his social media pages praising his team and expressing his delight in scoring. He stated:

"Good game from everyone on the team! Happy to have scored my 1st (ACL) goal! We keep winning!"

The Portuguese legend and five time Ballon d'Or winner is now chasing a new goal record in the AFC Champions League after leaving Europe in January this year.

He is the all-time record goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League with 140, in a career that saw him win the competition once with Manchester United and four times with Real Madrid.

Meanwhile, the 3-1 victory sees Al Nassr make it two wins out of two and are in control of Group E, having taken six points from their first two matches.

Iran's Persepolis are in second place behind Al Nassr following a 1-0 win over Al Duhail of Qatar, with Omid Alishah scoring in the 63rd minute to earn the 2018 and 2020 runners-up their first victory of the campaign.

Al-Nassr would now look forward to the clash against Qatar’s Al-Duhail. A third win in a row will give Luis Castro's men a foot in the knockout stages.

Only the 10 group winners and the six best-performing runners-up will progress to the next stage.

Ronaldo will now aim to be the difference-maker when Al-Nassr take on Abha at home in their next league game scheduled for Friday, October 6, 2023.

They are currently in fourth place in the league standings with 18 points after eight matches, a point behind third and second place Al-Taawoun and Al-Ittihad, while Al-Hilal are first with 20 points.

No comments

Powered by Blogger.