AFC Champions League Quarterfinal: Ronaldo’s Al Nassr Suffers Narrow Defeat Against Al 1-0

In a tightly contested encounter, Soufiane Rahimi’s decisive strike just before halftime secured a 1-0 victory for Al Ain over Ronaldo’s Al Nassr in the first leg of the AFC Champions League quarterfinal.

After serving his sentence, Cristiano Ronaldo was unable to stop Al-Nassr from losing 1-0 to Al-Ain in the first leg of their quarterfinal Asian Champions League match on Monday.

AFC Champions League Quarterfinal: Ronaldo’s Al Nassr Suffers Narrow Defeat Against Al 1-0

The one goal of the game was scored by Soufiane Rahimi in the 44th minute, just before halftime. The Moroccan striker Soufiane Rahimi’s goal in the first half gave former winners Al-Ain the lead heading into Monday’s second leg in Riyadh.

Ronaldo was in good spirits despite having been suspended from the Saudi Pro League on Thursday for allegedly making an aggressive gesture against Al-Shabab in the previous game.

In a video that seemed to be directed at Al-Shabab supporters screaming the name of Ronaldo’s longtime nemesis, Lionel Messi, Ronaldo was seen cupping his ear and repeatedly thrusting his palm forward near his groin.

The supporters of Al-Ain followed suit, but were nearly silenced when Ronaldo missed an overhead kick in the sixth minute. He tried a lob from the halfway line in the closing seconds, but it went just wide of the post. Goalie Khalid Eisa of Al-Ain stopped another close-range attempt.

Al-Ain, who is coached by former Argentine striker Hernan Crespo, had two goals disallowed for offside, so it might have been worse for Al-Nassr.After Aymeric Laporte was substituted for violent behavior during stoppage time, Al-Nassr scored a goal. The second leg will not include the former Manchester City defender.

Al-Nassr coach Luis Castro remarked, “We are only halfway through, and while going to the next round is going to be difficult, we still have 90 minutes at home.”
The victor of the match will undoubtedly face Saudi rivals in the semifinals. Tuesday’s matchup between Al-Ittihad and Al-Hilal takes place in the western zone’s second quarterfinal; the competition is split into two geographical sections until the championship.

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