Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr Soar to Victory in Asian Champions League Opener

Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr Soar to Victory in Asian Champions League Opener

Al-Nassr launched their Asian Champions League campaign with a spectacular 2-0 triumph over Persepolis in Tehran on September 19, marking an impressive start to their journey.

Abdulrahman Ghareeb’s goal shortly after the one-hour mark and a brilliant strike by Mohammed Qassem secured the victory. Despite Persepolis being a player down, Al-Nassr displayed dominance right from the outset at the renowned Azadi Stadium.

The atmosphere at the stadium remained hushed due to a previous social media controversy, leading to a crowd ban for the match. However, the excitement was far from muted, as fans thronged to the airport and the team’s hotel, chanting the name of the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo himself acknowledged their fervor and was graciously presented with a Persian carpet as a token of appreciation.

Persepolis made relentless efforts to thwart Ronaldo and his teammate Sadio Mane. Ronaldo had an opportunity to put Al-Nassr in the lead but was denied by the goalkeeper. Al-Ghannam, with his impressive performance, also tested the Iranian keeper with a powerful shot.

Persepolis faced a setback when Milad Sarlak received a second yellow card for a foul on Ronaldo. The deadlock was finally broken when Ronaldo assisted Marcelo Brozovic, who set up Ghareeb for the opening goal. Qassem later sealed the victory with an extraordinary goal.

With this win and a goalless draw between Istiklol and Al-Duhail in the group, Al-Nassr had a perfect start to their demanding away journey in the tournament. On the same day, Al-Ittihad also clinched a convincing 3-0 victory over AGMK of Uzbekistan.

In Riyadh, Al-Hilal had a nail-biting encounter against Navbahor, with the latter taking an early lead. Nevertheless, defender Ali Al-Bulaihi scored a crucial goal in the 100th minute, salvaging a point for Al-Hilal and preventing a shocking defeat.

Unfortunately, Al-Fayha had a disappointing debut, succumbing to a 1-0 defeat against Ahal FK, the reigning champions of Turkmenistan. Nonetheless, among the four Saudi teams in the competition, Al-Nassr and Al-Ittihad emerged as leaders of their respective groups after just one game.

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