The Saudi Arabian league is no longer to be underestimated, as the matches between the top teams are now on par with those of the major leagues. In a thrilling encounter this Friday, Al Nassr, boasting a star-studded lineup including Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mané, Marcelo Brozovic, Aymeric Laporte, and Otavio, faced off against Al Ahli, featuring talented players such as Gabri Veiga, Franck Kessié, Benjamin Mendy, Riyad Mahrez, and Roberto Firmino. The match was an absolute spectacle, with Al Nassr emerging victorious with a 4-3 scoreline.
Right from the start, Cristiano Ronaldo wasted no time in making his mark on the game. In the fourth minute, the Portuguese superstar capitalized on a perfectly timed assist from Mané, who had skillfully controlled the ball and waited for the opportune moment to feed Ronaldo. The former Real Madrid player calmly slotted the ball past Mendy, leaving the Al Ahli goalkeeper with no chance. The match quickly became an uphill battle for Al Ahli when, in the 16th minute, Talisca doubled Al Nassr’s lead. Otavio delivered a well-placed free kick from the right, finding Laporte at the far post. Instead of shooting directly on goal, the central defender intelligently headed the ball across the box, allowing the Brazilian forward to apply the finishing touch with a powerful header.
Gabri Veiga was the first Al Ahli player to threaten the opposition’s goal. Although his shot from distance missed the target, it served to uplift his team, which had been struggling to find its rhythm. Al Ahli managed to reduce the deficit thanks to Kessié, who broke through the defensive line and expertly converted a pinpoint pass from Al Majhad, one of the few Saudi players on the field. The former Barcelona player confidently struck the ball with his left foot, beating the Al Nassr goalkeeper. However, Al Ahli’s positive momentum was short-lived, as Talisca extended his team’s lead to two goals with a thunderous strike from outside the box during the lengthy first-half stoppage time. Despite Mendy’s valiant dive, he couldn’t reach the ball.
Talisca, who had been instrumental in Al Nassr’s success, tarnished his own performance at the start of the second half by conceding a penalty to Al Hurayji. Mahrez stepped up and converted from the spot, bringing the scoreline to 3-2. The match was a rollercoaster, and Cristiano Ronaldo was hungry for more. In the subsequent play, the Portuguese forward received the ball at the edge of the box, deftly controlled it with his trademark backheel, and unleashed a left-footed shot to restore his team’s two-goal advantage. This goal marked his ninth in just six matches.
In the dying minutes of the game, Feras narrowed the gap for Al Ahli by calmly slotting the ball into an empty net after a superb pass from Mahrez. However, it was too little, too late for Al Ahli, as Al Nassr secured the victory. This win propelled Cristiano Ronaldo’s team to fifth position in the league standings, level on points with Al Ahli, who missed the opportunity to claim the top spot.
The clash between Al Nassr and Al Ahli showcased the immense talent and competitiveness of the Saudi Arabian league. With star players like Cristiano Ronaldo and a thrilling 4-3 scoreline, this match was a testament to the quality of football on display. Both teams exhibited great skill, determination, and a desire to secure victory. As the league continues, fans can look forward to more exciting encounters that will undoubtedly captivate football enthusiasts worldwide.
Édouard Mendy dans un nuage de fumée sur le premier but de Cristiano Ronaldo. 😭🌫️😶🌫️
— Actu Foot (@ActuFoot_) September 22, 2023