Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr Crash Out of AFC Champions League After Losing to Al Ain on Penalties

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr Crash Out of AFC Champions League After Losing to Al Ain on Penalties

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at March 12, 2024 at 6:27 AM
In this article:
Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Al Nassr FC logo
Al Nassr
Saudi Arabia
Al-Ain FC logo
Al-Ain FC
United Arab Emirates
AFC Champions League logo
  • Al-Nassr are out of the AFC Champions League
  • The Knights of Najd lost after a penalty shootout
  • Cristiano Ronaldo spurned a golden opportunity

Cristiano Ronaldo experienced a rollercoaster of emotions as he first missed from close range, then redeemed himself by converting a 118th-minute penalty.

However, despite his efforts, Al-Nassr were eliminated from the AFC Champions League after a 3-1 penalty shootout loss to Al Ain following a 4-4 aggregate draw.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Al-Nassr, Al Ain, AFC Champions League.
Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr are out of the AFC Champions League. Photos by Yasser Bakhsh.
Source: Getty Images

The 39-year-old's dreams of Champions League glory in Asia were shattered as the Knights of Najd bowed out of the competition despite a valiant display, Sportstar reports.

Trailing 1-0 from the first leg, Ronaldo had expressed hopes of his team making a comeback in the second leg, but Al-Nassr faced a daunting challenge in the opening half.

How Ronaldo's Al-Nassr crashed out of AFC CL

Moroccan forward, Soufiane Rahimi, extended Al Ain's advantage with two goals, putting Luis Castro's side under immense pressure.

But Abdulrahman Ghareeb's close-range finish before half-time revived Al-Nassr's hopes as they trailed by two goals on aggregate.

Otavio levelled the second-leg scoreline six minutes into the second half as his shot was deflected into the net by Al Ain goalkeeper, Khalid Eisa.

Former Manchester United left-back, Alex Telles, then ignited the crowd with a well-taken free kick in the 72nd minute, levelling the aggregate score and putting Al-Nassr in the lead for the first time.

Despite several chances to seal the victory, including a surprising miss from Ronaldo just three yards out, per talkSPORT, the Riyadh-based giants found themselves down to 10 men after Ayman Yahya's red card.

Capitalising on the numerical advantage, the Emirati club regained the lead across both legs.

However, Ronaldo remained composed, converting a crucial penalty late in extra time. Yet, his heroics were in vain as Al-Nassr faltered in the penalty shootout.

Marcelo Brozovic, Alex Telles, and Otavio all failed to convert their spot kicks, with Ronaldo being the sole scorer for Al-Nassr, as Al Ain advanced to the semi-finals with a 3-1 shootout victory.

Ancelotti picks Ronaldo as 'best' player he's coached

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti unequivocally hailing Cristiano Ronaldo as the pinnacle of his illustrious coaching career.

The Italian has guided a constellation of footballing talents, from the dynamics of Vinicius Jr. to the technical brilliance of Kaka, consistently achieving success.

In a reflective moment, Ancelotti acknowledged Ronaldo's unparalleled excellence, placing him above the galaxy of stars he has had the privilege to coach.

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.