Home » In a truncated game, Al Ain beats Al Nassr and comes out ahead in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League

In a truncated game, Al Ain beats Al Nassr and comes out ahead in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League

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In a truncated game, Al Ain beats Al Nassr and comes out ahead in the quarterfinals of the Asian Champions League

Al Ain players celebrating Soufiane Rahimi’s goal.

Photo: Al Ain/reproduction/X / Esporte News Mundo

In the first leg of the quarter-finals of the Asian Champions League, Al Ain beat Al Nassr, 1-0, and came out ahead in the first game of the Asian competition. The goal of the game was scored by Moroccan striker Soufiane Rahimi, in the first half. The United Arab Emirates team goes into the second leg with the chance to draw.

In the first half, Al Ain didn’t have as much possession of the ball, but they were more objective and created more clear scoring chances, and were rewarded at the end of the first half with Soufiane Rahimi’s goal. Al Nassr, in turn, had more possession of the ball and finished more times, but failed when it came to finishing. In the second half the Saudi team created more chances, but just like in the first half, few forced Eisa to make big saves. While the Emirati team explored counterattacks and quick transitions and did well defensively to not let their opponent create great scoring chances.


Cristiano Ronaldo’s team started the game with pressure, in the first two minutes the Saudi team created two scoring chances. On the first occasion, Sadio Mané was launched on the left, the Senegalese crossed to Otávio who had his header blocked by the defense. In the next move, Mané dominated the area after a corner kick, but shot over goalkeeper Khalid Eisa. Al Nassr continued to press, at five, Cristiano Ronaldo was left with the surplus after the defense poorly cut a cross, the Portuguese star tried the bicycle but didn’t hit the target. Al Ain created their first chance, at 10, after Soufiane Rahimi entered the area and tried to shoot, but he didn’t catch the ball well and threw it away from the goal.

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At 21, Ayman Yahya took a risk from outside the area, but the ball went to the right of the goal and was not on target. Hernán Crespo’s team responded with the next move, Rahimi received the ball in the area, charged, hit hard and forced Ospina to work. Al Ain had a goal disallowed in the 27th minute, after Eisa launched Rahimi, on the left, he passed it to the middle for Kaku to finish, but the number 21 was offside at the origin of the move. The Emirati team continued to press, four minutes later, in the 31st minute, Bandar Mohamed finished on target and Ospina saved.

No clear scoring opportunities were created from the 31st minute until the 41st minute. At 40th minute, Cristiano Ronaldo was launched, but did not reach the ball, which fell to Sadio Mané, who tried to dominate and scored. In the next move, Soufiane Rahimi received the ball in the small area and finished, but caught it badly and sent it over Ospina. The pressure from Hernán Crespo’s team worked, and at 43, Rahimi received it from Kaku Romero, dribbled past Ospina and touched it lightly to open the scoring for the Emirati team. 1 to 0 Al Ain. Luís Castro’s team almost tied in the next move. On that occasion, Cristiano Ronaldo received the ball on the right and forced Khalid Eisa to make a great save. At 50, Argentine-born Paraguayan Kaku Romero received a yellow card for a foul. The first half ended with the United Arab Emirates team taking the lead.


The second half started truncated with both teams committing many fouls in the first minutes of the game. Luís Castro made two substitutions to the six in the second stage, with Al-Sulayhim and Sultan Al-Ghannam leaving for Al-Najei and Al-Amri. A minute later, Cristiano Ronaldo received the ball in the area but finished over the goal. In the next move, Ayman Yahya forced Eisa to make a good save. The period between eight and 27 was lacking in which none of the teams created few scoring chances. At 20, Ayman Yahya received a yellow card for a hard foul. At 27, Soufiane Rahimi was thrown into the back of the Al Nassr defense, he finished for the goal and beat Ospina, but his goal was disallowed. A minute later, Luís Castro moved once again, right-back Behich felt it and gave way to striker Al-Nemer, so Otávio moved to right-back. In the first play of the game, the attacker received a yellow card after fouling Brazilian Erik, a former International.

At 32, after a cross into the area, Cristiano Ronaldo passed it to Al-Najei who arrived and the ball was blocked by the defense. The Portuguese star missed a great chance, after a move from the left Cristiano Ronaldo appeared in the middle of the small area and Khalid Eisa made a reflex save.

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Al Nassr continued to press, in the next move, after lifting, Al-Amri headed wide, to the left of Eisa’s goal. At 39, Mohammed Al-Baloushi received a yellow card for a foul in midfield. A minute later, Al-Najei took a first chance, but had his shot blocked by the Emirati club’s defense. Hernán Crespo only made his first change in the 42nd minute of the final stage with the entry of Hazim Abbas in the place of Mohammed Al-Baloushi who had been booked. Two minutes later, at 44, Al-Amri forced Eisa to work.

Japanese referee Hiroyuki Kimura gave ten minutes of stoppage time. At 45, Sadio Mané had his shot blocked by the Al Ain defense. Three minutes later, in a controversial decision, Laporte was sent off for attacking an opponent. At 53, after a sequence of shots, Park Yong-Woo got the ball and sent it wide of the goal. At 54, Cristiano Ronaldo saw Eisa ahead of him and took a risk from midfield and the ball went to the left of the goal. Crespo moved twice more after that, Yahia Nader and Rahimi came out for Barman and Al Shamsi, who received a yellow card on his first move. Judge Hiroyuki Kimura was involved in another controversy in the last play of the game after the Japanese whistled for Al-Amri’s foul in midfield instead of giving an advantage to Al Ain, who was counterattacking with three players against two from the Saudi team. Even so, the Emirati team came out ahead in the first game. 1 to 0 Al Ain.

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With the result, Al Ain will travel to Riyad next Monday (9) and can draw. Al Nassr can only win if they want to continue in the continental competition. The Saudi team will not be able to count on Spanish defender Aymeric Laporte who was sent off and Anderson Talisca who is injured in the return game.

Al Ain will return to the field on Thursday, where they will play Al Ittihad Kalba, in a match valid for the UAE League Cup. The ball drops at 10:35 am, at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium, in Abu Dhabi. Before facing Al Nassr, in the return game of the Asian Champions League that will be played next Monday (11), at 4pm, at the Al-Awwal Stadium, in Riyadh. Cristiano Ronaldo’s team will also play on Thursday, the team led by Luís Castro will host Al Raed in the Saudi championship.

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