Dzhalilov: Istiqlol Star 'Laments' Ahead of Facing Ronaldo and Mane in AFC Champions League

Dzhalilov: Istiqlol Star 'Laments' Ahead of Facing Ronaldo and Mane in AFC Champions League

Raphael Abiola
October 1, 2023 at 7:21 PM
  • Alisher Dzhalilov has aired his views ahead of facing Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane in the AFC Champions League
  • Istiqlol Dushanbe are set to face Al-Nassr in their next club continental game
  • The Lions are still looking for their first win in the competition this season

Istiqlol Dushanbe star, Alisher Dzhalilov has lamented ahead of his team facing Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane in their next AFC Champions League tie against Al-Nassr at Al-Awwal Park.

The Lions are in Group E alongside the Knights of Najd, Al-Duhail, and Persepolis.

The Tajikistan side played out a goalless draw in their first game in the Champions League against Al-Duhail this season.

Mane Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates with Sadio Mane after scoring his teams first goal during the Saudi Pro League match between Al- Nassr and Al-Ahli. Photo: Francois Nel.
Source: Getty Images

Al-Nassr, on the other hand, won their first game 2-0 against Persepolis in Iran, with goals from Danial Esmaeilifar and Mohammed Qassem at the Azadi Stadium, according to ESPN.

Tajik midfielder, Dzhalilov, speaking ahead of their Asian Champions League tie with Al-Nassr, has claimed that his team are scared of facing Mane and Ronaldo.

“We are afraid to face Ronaldo and Mane,” he said.

Istiqlol Dushanbe coach, Igor Cherevchenko also gave an insight into how they will approach the game due to the terrifying Al-Nassr attack.

“There is a 99% chance we will defend tomorrow because Al-Nassr has a terrifying attack,” he said.

Mane and Ronaldo have already formed a deadly duo since the former moved to the Saudi Pro League in the summer from Bundesliga outfit Bayern Munich.

Ronaldo hugs Mane after assisting him

Sports Brief earlier reported that Cristiano Ronaldo acknowledged Sadio Mane for providing the assist for his opening goal in the game between Al-Nassr and Al-Ahli in the Saudi Pro League on Friday, September 22.

The duo have been unstoppable in the league, creating and scoring goals with ease as the Knights of Najd steadily climb the table.

In a cracking game against Al-Ahli, Mane wasted no time in finding the leading goal scorer, Ronaldo, as the hosts opened the scoring after four minutes. The Portuguese quickly ran to the Senegalese forward to celebrate with him for the assist, as spotted in photos shared on social media.

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Raphael Abiola
Raphael Abiola is a Nigerian Sports Journalist with over five years of experience. He obtained a B.Tech degree in Computer Science from the Federal University of Technology, Akure, in 2015.
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