Cristiano Ronaldo to face Al Ain in UAE as Al Nassr seal ACL quarter-final spot

Portuguese star scores in 2-0 win over fellow Saudi Arabian side Al Fayha in Asian Champions League

Powered by automated translation

Cristiano Ronaldo is set to compete in the UAE next month after the Al Nassr captain scored in the Asian Champions League on Wednesday to book a quarter-final clash with Al Ain.

The Portuguese star, competing this season for the first time in the continent’s premier club competition, struck the second goal in Nassr’s 2-0 home victory against fellow Saudi side Al Fayha.

Compatriot Otavio opened the scoring at Al Awwal Park on 17 minutes, with Ronaldo making the most of a rather fortuitous goalkeeping mistake four minutes from time to secure the result.

The victory meant Nassr, semi-finalists in their past two Champions League appearances, advanced 3-0 on aggregate. Ronaldo scored the only goal in the first leg at Fayha last week.

Having netted his fifth goal in the competition, the former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus forward posted on social media: "What a night! We’re through to the next stage, thank you all for the support!"

The win set up a last-eight tie with Al Ain, who booked their place in the quarter-finals also on Wednesday with a dramatic stoppage-time triumph at home to Uzbekistan’s Nasaf Qarshi.

After the first leg ended goalless, Al Ain went 1-0 down at the beginning of the second half at the Hazza bin Zayed Stadium before star striker Kodjo Laba levelled four minutes later with an acrobatic volley.

The 2003 champions, the only Emirati club to lift the Champions League, then snatched the win two minutes into injury-time, when playmaker Sofiane Rahimi dispatched expertly inside the Nasaf penalty area.

Al Ain will now host Nassr in the Garden City in the quarter-final first leg on March 4, before travelling to Riyadh for the return match one week later.

Updated: February 22, 2024, 8:12 AM