Talisca Inspires Al Nassr to AFC CL Victory Without Ronaldo Versus Coutinho’s Al Duhail

Talisca Inspires Al Nassr to AFC CL Victory Without Ronaldo Versus Coutinho’s Al Duhail

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at February 13, 2024 at 11:54 AM
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  • Anderson Talisca guided Al-Nassr to victory at Al-Duhail in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo
  • The former Besiktas star bagged a hat-trick in the five-goal thriller against the Qatari outfit
  • The Knights of Najd are on the brink of qualification to the knockouts with just two games left

Anderson Talisca propelled Al-Nassr to a thrilling comeback win against Al-Duhail on Tuesday night, preserving their flawless record in the AFC Champions League.

The Brazilian notched a hat-trick, guiding the Knights of Najd to a 3-2 triumph over the Qatari champions and bringing them closer to securing a place in the knockout phase with their fourth consecutive victory in Group E.

Anderson Talisca, Cristiano Ronaldo, Al-Nassr, Al Duhail, AFC Champions League, hat-trick
Anderson Talisca was the hero for Al-Nassr in the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring a hat-trick against Al Duhail. Photo credit: @AlNassrFC_EN
Source: Twitter

In a clash featuring two Brazilian compatriots, former Liverpool and Barcelona forward Philippe Coutinho drew first blood for Al-Duhail, albeit amid controversy.

Talisca leads comeback despite Coutinho's brace

A possible foul in the build-up didn't deter the goal as Kenyan striker, Michael Olunga provided the assist for Coutinho's close-range strike in the eighth minute.

This early setback seemed to awaken Al-Nassr, the reigning Arab Cup champions, who intensified their efforts.

Talisca, leading the charge in Cristiano Ronaldo's absence, combined with Abdulrahman Ghareeb to level the score with a right-footed finish just before the half-hour mark.

10 minutes later, the former Besiktas star unleashed an impressive long-range strike, reminiscent of Roberto Carlos, to tilt the scales in favour of the visiting side.

Maintaining their momentum in the second half, Al-Nassr patiently waited for their third goal.

In a swift counterattack, Ghareeb selflessly set up the red-hot Talisca, who calmly found the back of the net, extending their lead, as cited by Arab News.

However, Coutinho's penalty kick 10 minutes before the final whistle injected some tension into the game.

A handball by Marcelo Brozovic led to the opportunity.

Ultimately, it didn't alter the outcome as Luis Castro's squad held on to secure their fourth consecutive victory, solidifying their position at the top of Group E with an impressive 12 points, per GOAL.

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Why Ronaldo missed Champions League tie

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on Ronaldo missing Al-Nassr's AFC CL tie against Al Duhail on November 7 at the Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

Coach Castro explained the star's absence from the squad was a strategic decision made to ensure he gets some well-deserved rest before returning to action.

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.