Ronaldo’s Al Nassr Defy the Odds to Reach AFC Champions League Last 16 with 10-men

Al Nassr’s Cristiano Ronaldo against Persepolis in the AFC Champions League (X)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al Nassr booked their place in the AFC Champions League knockout stages with a 0-0 draw at home to Iran’s Persepolis.

Al-Nassr booked their place in the knockout rounds of the Asian Champions League on Monday as the Saudi Pro League side claimed a 0-0 draw with Iran’s Persepolis despite playing most of the game in Riyadh with 10 men.

The point gained ensured Al-Nassr will finish on top of Group E despite having one group game left to play and seeing Ali Lajami dismissed in the 17th minute for a reckless tackle on Milad Sarlak.

Al-Duhail are already eliminated despite defeating Turkmenistan’s Istiklol 2-0 in Doha thanks to a pair of Michael Olunga headers.

Al-Sadd, meanwhile, pulled themselves back into contention for a place in the last 16 with a 2-0 win over Sharjah from the United Arab Emirates in Group B through goals from Gonzalo Plata and Baghdad Bounedjah.

Plato struck nine minutes into the game after Darwish Mohammed parried Akram Afif’s initial shot while Bounedjah headed in the second from a Pedro Miguel cross from the right on the hour mark.

The win moves Al-Sadd onto seven points from five games and, while it keeps Bruno Pinheiro’s team in third place in the group, the former champions are three points behind new leaders Nasaf with one round remaining.

Nasaf went behind to a goal from Reziq Bani Hani but Mateus, Zafarmurod Abdurakhmatov and Marko Stanojevic struck in the second half to defeat Jordan’s Al-Faisaly 3-1 in Qarshi and go top of the standings.

Sharjah are second on eight points and could still advance with a win over Al-Faisaly on Dec. 4 while Al-Sadd will need to defeat Nasaf to have any chance of progressing.