What they said - RSL matchweek 15

There were upset results, thumping victories and the pulsating drama of the Riyadh Derby between Al Hilal and Al Nassr that saw Al Hilal extend their lead to seven points at the top of the table.

After another thrilling round of action, this is a snapshot of what those around the league were saying.

It might have been a night of celebration for the blue half of Riyadh, but Al Hilal coach Jorge Jesus was keeping a level head after their 3-0 win over fierce rivals Al Nassr.

“Congratulations to all fans. Important win, I congratulate the players, I congratulate Al Hilal and now we must continue, we haven’t achieved anything yet.” 



Salem Al Dawsari wrote his name in history with an assist for Aleksandar Mitrovic, marking his 100th goal contribution in the Saudi Professional League, becoming just the sixth player to achieve that feat. From his first goal in 2011, also against Al Nassr, he paid tribute to all those he played alongside that have contributed to his record.


“Every record we achieve, everyone is a partner in it. We are all complementary to each other and in the service of this great entity” 



Saleh Al Shehri might not have got on the pitch for Al Hilal in their derby success, but he had a milestone week regardless after officially completing his UEFA Certificate in Football Management.

“Thanks God, I finished today the academic program for football management from UEFA. I extend my great thanks and gratitude to His Highness the Minister of Sports, and to the President of the Saudi Arabian Football Federation, and to Al Hilal Club led by President Fahad bin Nafel for their support of my desire to continue my education. I also thank SAFF General Secretary Ibrahim Al Kassim and the national team setup.” 



Despite falling seven points behind their rivals, Luis Castro is adamant the title race is far from over and Al Nassr will keep fighting to overhaul the deficit.

“Of course, reducing the gap is challenging, but the league is still ongoing. Al Nassr will keep going strong because we have the capabilities to return and continue the good job. We should not let this discourage us, we will press on.”


Al Ahli were one of the big winners of Matchweek 15, with a thumping 6-0 victory over Abha keeping them in touch with the top of the table. German coach Matthias Jaissle was full of praise for his side, and their traveling fans, after the game.

“The difference today is that we translated chances into goals. In the cup match with Abha, we had chances but did not convert them into goals. I take my hat off to the players for this effort and the fans are wonderful everywhere.”


Al Taawoun kept the pressure on the top four with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Al Shabab, and their Spanish midfielder Alvaro Medran was pumped after the game when celebrating with the Al Taawoun fans.



Al Ittihad recorded their first RSL victory of the Marcelo Gallardo era with a 4-2 win over Al Khaleej that keeps them in fourth on the table. After only a few short weeks in Jeddah, Argentine Gallardo is already feeling the love.

“Despite the few days, I felt the fans’ love for the club and their closeness to the club. Personally, I love the fans and having a special relationship with them. In the coming period, we will work to always have a great relationship with them.”


Al Okhdood made it two wins from three matches with a 1-0 win over Ettifaq that has lifted them out of the relegation zone. Mourad Khodari says the credit for that is to be given to new manager Martin Sevela.

“With our new coach, we have been re-energised, we feel the weight of responsiblity and want to please our fans. We want to continue playing this way in upcoming matches."