Ronaldo’s Al Nasr 1 of the best and top Asian Champions League spot
Ronaldo’s Al Nasr late to clinch Asian Champions League spot
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nasr qualified for the Asian Champions League group stage after an injury time win over Shabab Al Ahli in Riyadh on Tuesday.
The Saudi Pro League side came from behind to win 4-2 in the play-offs at Misul Park, with Brazilian Anderson Talisca scoring twice and Croatia international Marcelo Brozovic netting the winner. Nasr was eliminated from the tournament with two minutes remaining.
The result means Nasr, runners-up domestically last season, go through to the group stage starting next month. Five-time UEFA Champions League winner Ronaldo was making his debut in Asian football’s top club competition after signing for the Riyadh club last December.
In the realm of football, the Asian Champions League stands as a prestigious tournament that showcases the finest teams from across the continent. While traditional powerhouses have long dominated the scene, a new contender has emerged in recent times: Al Nasr, a club based in Dubai, has made waves by signing none other than the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo. This move not only marked a significant moment in the club’s history but also fueled aspirations of clinching a top spot in the Asian Champions League.
The Ronaldo Effect: Cristiano Ronaldo’s arrival at Al Nasr was met with a mixture of excitement and curiosity. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner’s presence not only brought a surge of attention to the club but also raised expectations to unprecedented levels. His unparalleled skills, incredible work ethic, and leadership on and off the field have injected new energy into Al Nasr, propelling them into the limelight as a force to be reckoned with in the Asian Champions League.
Strengthening the Squad: Ronaldo’s influence extended beyond the pitch. His presence attracted other top talents to join Al Nasr, bolstering the team’s overall quality. The squad underwent a strategic revamp, with investments in both experienced players and promising young talents. This newfound depth has allowed the team to navigate the challenges of a rigorous season and simultaneously compete at the highest level of Asian football.
Tactical Evolution: Under Ronaldo’s influence, Al Nasr underwent a transformation in playing style and tactical approach. The team transitioned to a more attack-oriented strategy, leveraging the strengths of their star player while fostering a dynamic and cohesive unit. The Portuguese forward’s ability to create scoring opportunities and his knack for finding the back of the net have elevated Al Nasr’s offensive prowess, making them a daunting opponent for any team in the Asian Champions League.
Ronaldo’s Al Nasr, opened the scoring on 11 minutes, when Taslica Brozovic headed in a corner. However, Yahya Al Ghasani equalized for UAE champions Shabab Al Ahli seven minutes later, slotting the ball into the net by winger Nasr after the Dubai side countered.
Ronaldo’s al Nasr, 38, left the pitch at half-time visibly frustrated and was seen arguing with the referee. The Portuguese star, Nasr’s captain, believes he should have had two penalties in the first half.
Then, a minute after half-time, Al Ghasani got clear of Nasr’s defense and flicked the ball past Nawaf Al Aqidi to put Shabab Al Ahly in front.
Ronaldo’s al Nasr equalized with two minutes of normal time remaining, when full-back Sultan Al Ghanam’s header was turned into his own goal by Walid Abbas.
Nasr’s comeback was completed five minutes into the allotted seven minutes of injury time, with Talisca nodding home from close range. Moments later, with Shabab Al Ahli chasing an equaliser, Ronaldo pressed Brozovic to drill his shot into the net and secure the game.
Elsewhere in the Western Region, UAE side Sharjah beat Iran’s Tractor FC 3-1 to qualify for the tournament, while Uzbekistan’s Navbahar Namangan beat Qatar’s Al Wakrah 1-0 after extra time.
In Tuesday’s other play-off, Uzbek side AGMK Olmalik beat Qatar’s Al Arabi 1-0.