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Ronaldo urges referee to reverse penalty decision awarded in AFC CL


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Cristiano Ronaldo influenced the referee to overturn a penalty choice within the AFC Champions League 0-0 draw between Al Nassr and Iran’s Persepolis.

The 38-year-old former Manchester United and Real Madrid star gave the impression to be fouled by Soroush Rafiei contained in the field, prompting Chinese referee Ma Ning to level to the spot.

Ronaldo rapidly received to his ft, approached the referee, wagged his finger, shook his head, and insisted that there was no foul.

Following a VAR session, the referee was directed to the pitch-side monitor and subsequently overturned his choice throughout the Group E conflict in Riyadh.

The Saudi Pro League aspect performed many of the match with 10 males after Ali Lajami acquired a straight crimson card for a shin-raking problem within the seventeenth minute.

They additionally misplaced Ronaldo to a neck harm with 13 minutes remaining, attributable to Persepolis goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand touchdown on the Portuguese star whereas claiming a excessive ball.

However, the 2018 and 2020 Champions League runners-up from Iran have been unable to capitalize, and the purpose proved ample for Al Nassr to safe their place within the knockout levels as group winners.

Ronaldo has little time to get well, with Al Nassr dealing with Al Hilal on Friday in a top-of-the-table league conflict.

Al Ittihad on the right track

Saudi Arabian champions Al Ittihad are two factors clear on the prime of Group C after a 2-1 win at Uzbekistan’s AGMK FC.

Moroccan Abderrazak Hamdallah scored twice in 4 first-half minutes earlier than Martin Boakye pulled one again for the hosts with 12 minutes remaining.

Two-time winners Al Ittihad, underneath new supervisor Marcelo Gallardo, have to keep away from defeat at house to second-placed Sepahan within the closing spherical of matches subsequent week to advance as group winners.

The Iranian aspect defeated Iraq’s Air Force Club 1-0 on the Azadi Stadium in Tehran, regardless of having two gamers despatched off.

Sepahan’s Farshad Ahmadzadeh scored the one objective from shut vary within the fourth minute earlier than Mohammad Hosseinnezhad was despatched off simply earlier than halftime.

Hadi Mohammadi was then red-carded within the ninetieth minute, forcing Sepahan to carry out with 9 males for 12 minutes of added time underneath an Air Force bombardment to safe the three factors.

Uzbekistan’s Nasaf Qarshi moved prime of Group B with a 3-1 win at house to Jordan’s Al Faisaly, and Qatari aspect Al Sadd stored their hopes alive by beating Sharjah 2-0 within the UAE.

Nasaf is prime on 10 factors forward of their closing match in opposition to Al Sadd, who’re third on seven factors, with Sharjah, who face a visit to Al Faisaly, second on eight.

The group stage this 12 months returned to a home-and-away group format for the primary time since 2020 and expanded to 40 groups.

It rounds off within the West Zone subsequent week with the 5 winners from Groups A to E and the three greatest runners-up going via to the final 16 in February.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, the ultimate two rounds of East Zone matches kick off to resolve the opposite eight groups within the final 16 from Groups F to J.

The quarterfinals will likely be performed in March, the semifinals in April, with the two-legged closing in May.

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