Ronaldo double keeps Al-Nassr on track for the title

Ronaldo double keeps Al-Nassr on track for the title
Short Url
Updated 05 April 2023

Ronaldo double keeps Al-Nassr on track for the title

Ronaldo double keeps Al-Nassr on track for the title
  • One point behind leaders Al-Ittihad with 8 games remaining
  • Portuguese star on 11 goals, fastest to reach this in Saudi Arabia

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice to drive Al-Nassr to an emphatic 5-0 win over Al-Adalah on Tuesday that keeps the Riyadh giants a point behind leaders Al-Ittihad with eight games of the Roshn Saudi League season remaining.

The five-time Ballon D’or winner bagged a goal in each half to take his personal tally for the campaign to 11 as Al-Nassr stayed in second with a comfortable win over the team that were promoted last season and are battling to stay in the top tier.

Given the fact that the two teams are at opposite ends of the table, it was no surprise that Rudi Garcia’s men were on top from the beginning. Al-Nassr had two great headed chances in the first half but unfortunately neither fell to Ronaldo. First Abdulrahman Ghareeb should have done better but his effort was easy to save and then, just after the half hour, Anderson Talisca had an even better opportunity only to head right into the grateful arms of Milan Mijatovic.

Then, eight minutes before the break, Abdulaziz Al-Jamman brought down Abdulelah Al-Amri in the area, the referee pointed to the spot and Ronaldo stepped up to fire a low shot to the left bottom corner to give the goalkeeper no chance. It meant that the 38-year-old, with just nine appearances to his name, became the fastest player in the history of Saudi Arabian league football to reach double figures.

Ten minutes after the restart Talisca extended Al-Nassr’s lead. The Brazilian had the ball on the left side of the pitch outside the area and while there were players, inevitably including Ronaldo, demanding the ball in the area, Talisca fired a low shot that ended up in the bottom of the net.

Ten minutes later, Talisca’s smart pass fed Ronaldo and the Portuguese star shot home from the left side of the area to seal the win and grab his 11th goal of the season. There was still time for Talisca to grab his second and Al-Nassr’s fourth. Ayman Yahya added a fifth deep into injury time.

It was a vital win as leaders Al-Ittihad defeated Damac 3-0 to stay a point clear at the top. Bruno Henrique opened the scoring after just 14 minutes. Eight minutes before the break Romarinho added a second from the penalty spot to secure the three points to keep the Jeddah giants on course for a first title since 2009. There was still enough time when, a minute from the end, Ahmed Hegazi headed a third.

Ominously for every team in with a chance of the title, Al-Hilal won 2-0 at Al-Fahya. A goal on the stroke of halftime from Odion Ighalo gave the defending champions the all-important lead. The former Manchester United striker added a second just before the end to make it four goals from two games on a personal level and give Al-Hilal a fourth straight win in the league.

That victory means that Hilal move above Riyadh rivals Al-Shabab into third with 45 points, just eight behind Al-Ittihad but with a game in hand.