Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace, along with goals from Sadio Mane and Talisca guided Al Nassr to a thrilling 4-3 win against Al Duhail in a Group E fixture of the AFC Champions League at the King Saud University Stadium on Wednesday.
Ronaldo set up Talisca for the match’s opening goal as the latter found the net with an accurate finish in the 25th minute.
Al Nassr, which was dominating the match before the opening goal, saw Al Duhail put some pressure late in the first-half, but the home team held on to keep a 1-0 lead at half-time.
It was Al Nassr, which struck first in the second-half. Sultan Al Ghanam crossed from the right as Ronaldo jumped to get a header away. However, he missed the ball, and it went to Mane, who got the telling touch to rattle the back of the net.
AS IT HAPPENED: Al Nassr 4-3 Al Duhail highlights
Ronaldo, who set up Talisca for the match’s first, joined the party with a rocket of a finish in the 63rd minute. Receiving a pass from Al Ghanam, he cut in and dispatched a venomous shot from distance to rattle the top left-corner of the net.
Cruising at 3-0, Al Nassr and all its fans thought the game was done and dusted. However, defensive lapses saw two quick-fire goals from Ismail Mohammed and Almoez Ali to reduce the deficit to just one.
As Al Duhail looked to make it 3-3, it was Ronaldo who grabbed his brace, with a brilliant first-time volley from Al Ghanam’s long diagonal to make it 4-2.
However, Al Duhail was determined to not let Al Nassr have a comfortable finish. In the 85th minute, Michael Olunga, after having a couple of goals ruled out for offside, finally rattled the net with a finessed effort and reduced the deficit to one again.
The away team from Qatar kept hounding, but Al Nassr held on to clinch a 4-3 win.
It was its third consecutive win in the competition, and it tops Group E with nine points. Al Duhail remains third with one point.
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