Ronaldo convinces referee to overturn penalty in Al Nasr draw

Associated PressNovember 27, 2023 at 6:38 pm ET2 min read

Cristiano Ronaldo’s honesty helped offset the penalty he was awarded as his ten-man Al-Nasr side drew 0-0 with Iran’s Persepolis in the Asian Champions League on Monday.

At the beginning of the game, Ronaldo fell to the ground in the penalty area, and the referee pointed to the penalty spot, but Ronaldo and the Persepolis players protested the penalty. Referee Ma Ning checked the courtside monitor and overturned his decision.

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Al-Nasr defender Ali Lajime was sent off at half-time for a dangerous charge on Milad Salak, while Ronaldo gave his Saudi side a scare when he came off with a neck injury.

Through the draw, Al Nasr, as the winner of Group E, qualified for the knockout rounds with one game left. Riyadh had won 18 of its previous 19 games.

In the same group, Qatar’s Duhail team defeated Tajikistan’s Istiklal team 2-0 and achieved their first victory in team history. Prolific Kenyan striker Michael Olunga scored two goals.

Previously in Group C, Saudi Arabian champion coach Marcelo Gallardo defeated Uzbekistan AGMK 2-1 to advance to the knockout stages, recording his first win since his appointment by Al-Ittihad this month.

Morocco striker Abdelrazak Hamdallah scored twice in four first-half minutes to give Al Etihad the lead after Karim Benzema missed a chance.

Martin Boakye pulled a goal back for AGMK in the final moments of the Tashkent match.

“We had to work hard from the first whistle, but we kept pushing as hard as we could and Hamdallah scored two good goals,” Gallardo said.

The competition is divided into two halves, and is divided into 10 groups before the finals. The top 4 teams in each group advance to the top 16 together with the 6 runners-up with the best results.

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