Enlarge image

Cristiano Ronaldo plays for Al-Nassr

Photo: - / dpa

Football superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has caused a stir with an unexpected move in a penalty decision. The Portuguese pointed out to the referee at a match of his club Al-Nassr in the Asian Champions League to review the decision after an alleged foul on him.

Ronaldo's admission was probably anticipating what would have come to light in the video evidence. He had gone down in a tackle in the penalty area, but referee Ma Ning immediately pointed to the spot. Ronaldo jumped up, walked up to the referee, waved his finger, shook his head and told him there had been no foul. Opponents from Persepolis, Iran, also protested vehemently. After consulting with the VAR, the referee went to the screen on the sidelines and overturned his decision.

Al-Nassr had already qualified for the next round before the match

Ronaldo's side had to make do with 17 men for almost the entire game after Ali Lajami was shown a red card in the 13th minute. Ronaldo was substituted with <> minutes to go with a neck injury, but was praised by his club for "a lot of sportsmanship".

Al-Nassr had already qualified for the knockout stages as Group E winners and progressed unbeaten. The Riyadh side had won 18 of their last 19 matches in all competitions and progressed as group winners.

Benzema misses goal but still wins

In the same group, Al-Duhail of Qatar managed their first win with a 2-0 win over Istiklol of Tajikistan. Kenyan striker Michael Olunga scored both goals. In Group C, Argentina coach Marcelo Gallardo celebrated his first win since joining Al-Ittihad. The Saudi Arabian champions defeated AGMK of Uzbekistan 2-1 to advance to the knockout stages. Two goals from Moroccan striker Abderrazak Hamdallah in the space of four minutes in the first half put Al-Ittihad ahead after Karim Benzema missed chances.

The best team from each of the ten groups of four in the Asian Champions League, which is divided into two geographical halves until the final, will advance to the round of 16 along with the six best runners-up.