Al-Nassr Make It Two Wins in as Many Matches in the AFC Champions League by Beating FC Istiklol 3-1 at Home, Ronaldo Scores His 17th Goal in 20232024

Al-Nassr Make It Two Wins in as Many Matches in the AFC Champions League by Beating FC Istiklol 3-1 at Home, Ronaldo Scores His 17th Goal in 2023/2024

After having a rather poor year in 2022/2023 (17 goals in 35 appearances in all competitions) for ex-club Manchester United and current team Al-Nassr, Portugal national team captain Cristiano Ronaldo finally rediscovered his superior form in the Asian region. In his first full season thus far at Al-Nassr, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner already notched 17 goals in 16 matches in all competitions, with the latest came against Tajikistan’s FC Istiklol at KSU Football Field in Matchday 2 of the AFC Champions League. Ronaldo’s goal complemented his strike partner Talisca’s brace in the match, helping Al-Nassr to win their second straight group match in the competition.

Al-Nassr Went 1-0 Down Against FC Istiklol in the First 45 Minutes

Two opening losses of the 2023/2024 Saudi Pro League Season soon became a distant memory for Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr, as the Saudi outfit won nine consecutive matches in all competitions afterwards, scoring a total of 34 goals as a result. Therefore, they were the favourites to emerge victorious versus FC Istiklol in the second group match of this season’s AFC Champions League. Al-Nassr’s pre-game news saw the all-time leading goalscorer of men’s international football Ronaldo continued to spearhead the team offence, while notable absentee for Luis Castro’s side was Ronaldo’s new favourite partner in crime Sadio Mané. The 31-year-old Senegalese striker missed this AFC Champions League tie due to fatigue.

Nevertheless, surprise to many, it was the Tajikistan outfit FC Istiklol that broke the deadlock against Al-Nassr in this AFC Champions League fixture. Seconds before the added time was awarded, Talisca failed to controlled a bounce pass from his teammate, allowing Dženis Beganović to intercept the ball and find Senin Sebai in the box. The 29-year-old Ivorian punished Al-Nassr with his soft touch that blew past goalkeeper Nawaf Alaqidi.

Also Read: Arab Club Champions Cup Final: Cristiano Ronaldo’s Brace Helped Al-Nassr Come Back From 1-0 Down to Beat Al-Hilal After Extra Time

Al-Nassr Bounced Back to Score Three in the Second Half

FC Istiklol managed to defend well for a good 20 minutes, before the home side levelled things up via their captain fantastic. Ronaldo received the ball from Abdulrahman Ghareeb, but had his first shot blocked by the opposition’s defence. Fortunately, luck was on Al-Nassr’s side as the ball ricocheted back to Ronaldo to cleverly chip into the back of the net. The four-time European Golden Boot winner’s equaliser was all Al-Nassr needed to fight back in the game, as they went on to score two more in the rest of the match.

Talisca, who was guilty in committing the error that led to FC Istiklol’s opening goal in this AFC Champions League fixture, was the scorer for both Al-Nassr’s second and third goals of the game. Six minutes after Ronaldo’s goal, right-back Sultan Al-Ghannam delivered a ball into the dangerous zone for Ghareeb to have a shot at the goal, but his left-footed volley was not good enough and bounced off the the ground. Talisca was the quickest to react to the rebounded ball, heading in his 9th goal of the season and giving Al-Nassr their first lead of the match.

With a goal up, the Saudi Pro League team’s momentum grew larger and larger for an icing on the cake. In the 77th minute, Ghareeb won the ball from the opposition and tore the entire FC Istiklol defence down, followed by a pull-back pass for Talisca to score. The Brazilian curled his shot far post to the bottom left corner to bring his total tally of the season to double digits. Ronaldo’s goal and Talisca’s brace ensured all three points for Al-Nassr in the AFC Champions League, registering their tenth straight win in all competitions.

Related: 23-Year-Old Winger Jadon Sancho Encouraged to Apologise to Erik ten Hag for Their Public Feud by Manchester United Teammates

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by 433 (@433)

Al-Nassr Top AFC Champions League Group E with Six Points

Al-Nassr are the current leaders of Group E in the AFC Champions League with two wins in as many matches. The player who ignited the comeback win Ronaldo, also known as Mr. Champions League due to his all-time records in goals and appearances, took to the internet to celebrate his first AFC Champions League goal, and Al-Nassr’s tenth straight win in all competitions. “Good game from everyone on the team! Happy to have scored my 1st #ACL champions league goal! We keep winning”, reads his Instagram post caption.

Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr will play host to 16th-placed Abha at KSU Football Field for Matchday 9 of the 2023/2024 Saudi Pro League Season. The team’s aim in this match will surely be bagging their seventh consecutive league win and propelling themselves into the ranks of title contenders, having came close to win it all in 2022/2023.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *