Ronaldo targets first AFC Champions League goals for Al-Nassr against Istiklol

Ronaldo targets first AFC Champions League goals for Al-Nassr against Istiklol
Ronaldo targets first AFC Champions League goals for Al-Nassr against Istiklol

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 10th of the season as Al-Nassr made it six from six in the league on Friday with a 2-1 win at Al-Tai.

The Portuguese star linked up well with Anderson Talisca and the pair look to be enjoying themselves.

The same can be said for fans of the Yellows who now see their side just a point behind leaders Al-Ittihad who were held to a 0-0 draw at Al-Fayha.

After starting the campaign with two defeats in the first two games, Al-Nassr are showing themselves to be capable of putting teams to the sword and grinding out victories when they need to.

This was more the latter, and it was a close-run thing. The visitors moved ahead just after the half hour to quieten the vociferous home fans, and it was a beauty. Ronaldo, on the edge of the area, flicked the ball up for the advancing Talisca to fire home from the right side of the box for his third in two games. It was a fifth assist of the season so far for the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

The goal had been coming as Al-Nassr had been pushing forward, with Ronaldo missing good chances earlier in the game.

From one opportunity Talisca had set up his captain, running into the area and supplying the unmarked Portuguese international who, to the surprise of everyone, unleashed a shot that lacked power and enabled Victor Braga to save.

Ronaldo had a slightly tougher chance six minutes before the break. Marcelo Brozovic made use of plenty of space in the middle of the Al-Tai half to chip a perfect pass into the area. On the right corner of the six-yard box, the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star fired a half-volley just wide of the post.

The half ended with a spectacular overhead kick by Ronaldo finding Talisca at the far post but, while the Brazilian rounded the goalkeeper to roll the ball home, he was just offside.

It was not all one-way traffic, though. Al-Tai wanted a penalty early in the second half and came close to an equalizer on the hour, but Nawaf Al-Aqidi got down quickly at his near post to push a smart free-kick from Anselmo around the post.

Ronaldo looked to have provided his side’s second on 63 minutes but his header was palmed away acrobatically by the busy Braga.

And then, with 11 minutes remaining, Al-Tai did score. Abdulrahman Al-Harthi produced a beautiful pass that sent Virgil Misidjan sprinting free of three Al-Nassr defenders and the Dutch forward rolled the ball home.

A draw looked likely, but Al-Nassr grabbed the winner with three minutes left as Anselmo handled a Talisca header and Ronaldo fired home from the spot.

Al-Nassr now have 18 points from eight games and are breathing down the neck of champions and leaders Al-Ittihad, who were held to a goalless draw at Al-Fahya.

Al-Ittihad, again without the injured striker Karim Benzema, had the better chances in the first half.

Abderrazak Hamdallah was denied at close range by Vladimir Stojkovic. The Serbian stopper could then only watch as a thunderbolt from Ahmed Bamsaud rocketed back off the crossbar.

Al-Fayha had their chances but the game remained goalless.

Al-Ittihad stay top but are now level on points with Al-Taawoun who won 3-1 at Al-Hazm.

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