Ronaldo was seen wagging his finger telling the referee that it was not a penalty. (Screengrab)
Ronaldo was seen wagging his finger telling the referee that it was not a penalty. (Screengrab)

VIDEO: Ronaldo tells ref to overturn penalty he won in Asian Champions League match

In a riveting AFC Champions League encounter between Al Nassr and Persepolis, football icon Cristiano Ronaldo found himself at the heart of a pivotal moment, leading to a penalty decision reversal in the Saudi Pro League side's 0-0 draw against the Iranian outfit.

The 38-year-old, formerly of Manchester United and Real Madrid, stirred controversy when Chinese referee Ma Ning initially awarded a penalty following an apparent foul on Ronaldo by Persepolis' Soroush Rafiei.

Displaying his trademark determination, Ronaldo vehemently contested the decision, expressing his disagreement through gestures. 

The persuasive influence of the football legend prompted the referee to consult VAR, resulting in a surprising reversal of the penalty decision after reviewing the incident on the pitch-side monitor. This turn of events added a dramatic twist to the Group E clash in Riyadh.

Despite playing most of the match with 10 men due to Ali Lajami's 17th-minute red card, Al Nassr secured a crucial point, allowing them to top Group E and advance to the knockout stages. Ronaldo's impact extended beyond the penalty controversy; he unfortunately left the field with a neck injury sustained during a collision with Persepolis goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand.

The numerical advantage and Ronaldo's injury posed challenges for Al Nassr, but Persepolis failed to capitalize, resulting in a hard-fought 0-0 draw.

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In a separate AFC Champions League fixture, Saudi champions Al Ittihad secured a vital 2-1 victory against AGMK FC, with Moroccan Abderrazak Hamdallah scoring twice. This win places Al Ittihad in a favorable position to clinch group victory in their final match.

Group C saw Sepahan emerge victorious with a 1-0 win over Iraq's Air Force Club, despite being reduced to nine men. Farshad Ahmadzadeh's early goal and resilient defense secured the three points.

As the AFC Champions League progresses, the final two rounds of East Zone matches will soon kick off, setting the stage for the knockout stages in February. The West Zone group stage concludes next week, with the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and two-legged final scheduled for March, April, and May, respectively.

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