Ronaldo And Al Nassr Secure Spot In Asian Champions League Knockout Stage

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On Monday, Al-Nassr secured their spot in the knockout rounds of the Asian Champions League with a 0-0 draw against Iran’s Persepolis, even though they played most of the game with 10 men in Riyadh. The gained point ensures Al-Nassr’s top finish in Group E, despite having one group game remaining and Ali Lajami’s early dismissal in the 17th minute.

While only group winners are guaranteed progression to the last 16, Persepolis could still secure one of the three best runners-up positions in the next phase by defeating Qatar’s Al-Duhail in their final group game on Dec. 5. Al-Duhail, already eliminated, secured a 2-0 victory over Turkmenistan’s Istiklol in Doha.

In Group B, Al-Sadd revived their chances for a place in the last 16 with a 2-0 win over Sharjah from the UAE through goals from Gonzalo Plata and Baghdad Bounedjah. Al-Sadd now has seven points from five games, three points behind new leaders Nasaf with one round remaining.

Nasaf overcame an initial setback to defeat Al-Faisaly 3-1 in Qarshi, taking the top spot in the standings. Sharjah sits in second place with eight points, and a win over Al-Faisaly on Dec. 4 could still see them advance, while Al-Sadd needs a victory over Nasaf to have any chance of progressing.

In Group C, Sepahan of Iran survived two red cards to beat Air Force Club from Iraq 1-0 in Tehran, staying two points behind leaders Al-Ittihad from Saudi Arabia. Farshad Ahmadzadeh gave Sepahan an early lead, and despite red cards in the 43rd and 90th minutes, they held on during stoppage time to secure three points. Al-Ittihad defeated Uzbekistan’s AGMK 2-1 with two first-half goals from Abderrazak Hamdallah.