Dramatic showdown: Al Ain prevails in penalty shootout, shattering Al Nassr’s semifinal dreams

Al Nassr’s hopes for a comeback against Al Ain in the Asian Champions League quarterfinals were dashed in a fiercely contested match. The thrilling encounter concluded in a penalty shootout, marking Al Ain’s triumph and leaving Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates on the brink of missing the semifinals.

During the first leg at Al-Ain’s turf, Al Nassr suffered a narrow defeat, with Rahimi finding the net in the 44th minute.

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence, the star failed to make a significant impact.

Ronaldo pledged a comeback for the second leg, but the script unfolded differently. The Qataris, led by Rahimi’s two goals in the 28th and 45th minutes, created a three-goal deficit for Al Nassr.

Yet, before halftime, Ghareeb, courtesy of a Sadio Mané assist, narrowed the margin.

The second half saw Khalid Eisa’s own goal leveling the score at 2-2, providing a psychological boost for Al Nassr.

Despite an astonishing missed opportunity by Cristiano Ronaldo, Alex Telles secured a 3-2 lead for the Saudis.

The match concluded without a decisive winner in a frenzied finish.

The deadlock persisted into a penalty shootout, where both Al Nassr and Al Ain sought to break the tie.

During extra time, Al Nassr was reduced to 10 players after Ahmed received a red card. Seizing the opportunity, Sultan Al Shamsi equalized for Al Ain (3-3).

Teetering on the edge of elimination, Al Nassr turned to Cristiano Ronaldo, who converted a penalty in the 116th minute.

The fate-deciding penalty shootout favored Al Ain, securing a 3-1 victory and a spot in the coveted semifinals.

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