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Arab Club Champions Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty goal propels Al Nassr into the final

Cristiano Ronaldo's composed penalty conversion during the 75th minute propelled Al Nassr to secure their place in the final of the Arab Club Champions Cup.

Football Arab Club Champions Cup: Cristiano Ronaldo's penalty goal propels Al Nassr into the final osf
First Published Aug 10, 2023, 2:23 PM IST

Cristiano Ronaldo showcased his unmatched finesse as he calmly slotted a penalty into the net during the 75th minute, steering Al Nassr towards a monumental victory against Al Shorta. This pivotal goal secured Al Nassr's berth in the final of the Arab Club Champions Cup. In a nail-biting semi-final clash, Ronaldo's presence was pivotal as he capitalised on a penalty opportunity, effectively guiding Al Nassr to the final stages of the Arab Club Champions Cup. Ronaldo proved to be the game-changer on Wednesday, finding the back of the net against Al Shorta.

The turning point of the match was initiated by Al Nassr's new acquisition, Sadio Mane, who earned a penalty for his side after being fouled inside the penalty box. A subsequent Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review confirmed the infringement, leading to the referee awarding Al Nassr a penalty kick. Ronaldo, known for his impeccable composure under pressure, made no mistake in capitalizing on the moment, sealing the victory with his clinical conversion from the spot.

The official Twitter handle of Al Nassr was quick to share the highlight of Ronaldo's impeccable technique as he netted the penalty, leading to an eruption of praise from fans and pundits alike.

Ronaldo's impactful strike against Al Shorta marked his fourth consecutive goal while donning the Al Nassr jersey. In the imminent showdown of the Arab Club Champions Cup final, Al Nassr is slated to face off against Al Hilal.

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Evidencing their dominance, Al Nassr maintained 64 percent ball possession and unleashed 15 shots, highlighting their tactical supremacy throughout the semi-final fixture. The Riyadh-based team established their intentions early, creating multiple scoring opportunities within the initial 10 minutes. Yet, Al Shorta's goalkeeper, Ahmed Basil, rose to the occasion with two pivotal saves, keeping his team's hopes alive in the contest.

The second half witnessed a continuation of Al Nassr's aggressive gameplay, with the breakthrough finally materialising in the 75th minute. Sadio Mane was brought down by Al Shorta's Faisal Jasim within the penalty box, leading to the decisive penalty. Ronaldo displayed nerves of steel, converting the penalty with clinical precision. The Iraqi champions had a last-minute chance to level the score, but Al Nassr's goalkeeper Nawaf Alaqidi showcased his mettle with a crucial save, ensuring a clean sheet for his team.

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Post-match, Al Nassr's coach, Luis Castro, emphasised the importance of the team's defence, and the upcoming challenges across various competitions.

Last season, Al Nassr remained trophyless despite the marquee signing of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Saudi side now eyes the Arab Club Champions Cup as the ideal opportunity to break their trophy drought. Ronaldo's impressive form provides a significant boost as the club prepares for the final showdown. The veteran striker had previously netted Al Nassr's opening goal in the quarter-finals against Raja Casablanca, contributing to their resounding 3-1 victory. With an impressive tally of 17 goals in 23 appearances for Al Nassr, Ronaldo continues to solidify his status as a game-changer for the team.

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