Cristiano Ronaldo's brace propels Al-Nassr to a thrilling victory in AFC Champions League (WATCH)
Cristiano Ronaldo showcased his brilliance by netting two remarkable goals to lead Al-Nassr to a thrilling 4-3 victory over Al-Duhail in a heart-pounding AFC Champions League clash.
Cristiano Ronaldo delivered a spectacular performance, netting two remarkable goals to lead Al-Nassr to an exhilarating 4-3 triumph against Al-Duhail in the AFC Champions League. In this thrilling encounter, former Liverpool striker Sadio Mane and Anderson Talisca also found the back of the net for the Saudi side. Their victory on Tuesday marked their third consecutive win in the group stages of the prestigious Asian club competition.
Talisca broke the deadlock in the 25th minute with a powerful strike from the edge of the box, courtesy of a clever back-heeled flick by the 38-year-old Ronaldo, who showcased a full array of his skillful tricks. Mane extended the lead, turning and firing home a second goal 11 minutes into the second half. Ronaldo then added a third in magnificent fashion, curling the ball into the net from outside the box, making it 3-0 only five minutes later.
However, the Qatari side, inspired by former Barcelona and Liverpool winger Philippe Coutinho, responded with two quick goals within the next six minutes, courtesy of Ismail Mohamad and Almoez Ali, creating a tense atmosphere.
With just nine minutes left in the game, Ronaldo seemed to have the last word as he sprinted onto a long pass from Sultan Al Ghannam and executed a superb left-footed volley without breaking his stride. Nevertheless, there was one more twist as Michael Olunga pulled one back, narrowing the score to 4-3 in the 85th minute, resulting in a nervy final few minutes.
Al Duhail manager Christophe Galtier, formerly in charge of French giants Paris Saint-Germain, expressed his awe, stating, "When you face Ronaldo, there isn't much you can do. He scored two beautiful goals. I'm at a loss for words to describe him. What he did today is extraordinary for a 38-year-old. He's still the best player in the world."
Meanwhile, Al Hilal, based in Riyadh, overcame the absence of their injured superstar Neymar as they secured a resounding 6-0 victory over India's Mumbai City, with two goals from former Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic.
In the East zone, defending champions Urawa Red Diamonds of Japan suffered a 2-0 upset at home to South Korea's Pohang Steelers, who scored on either side of halftime through Jeong Jae-hee and Goh Young-jun. Urawa now faces a challenge in qualifying for the knockout stages, having accumulated only four points from their three Group J matches, level with China's Wuhan Three Towns, who secured their first win by beating Hanoi FC 2-1.
Kawasaki Frontale of Japan achieved their third consecutive win with a 4-2 victory against Thailand's BG Pathum United, solidifying their position at the top of Group I, three points ahead of South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai.