Al Dawsari and Mitrovic score as Al Hilal overcome Al Tai
Al Hilal extended their Roshn Saudi League winning run to nine games on the trot after coming away from Hail with a hard-fought 2-1 win over Al Tai.
The league leaders opened their account at the Prince Abdulaziz bin Musaed Stadium in the 20th minute when club captain Salman Al Faraj delivered a cross from the right to his deputy Salem Al Dawsari who converted it on the half-volley.
Defender Ibrahim Al Nakhli was penalised for handling the ball inside his box and Aleksandar Mitrovic stepped up to drive home from the spot for Al Hilal’s second. The forward, who was recently named the Serbian Player of the Year, reached 14 goals for the season.
Portuguese midfielder Ruben Neves added a third before the break, but his goal was ruled out as Mitrovic had stepped into an offside position in the build-up.
Deep into added time of the first half, Al Tai pulled one back in style after Tareq Abdullah spotted Al Hilal goalkeeper Yassine Bono out of his line and sent an intelligent lobbed strike from 30 yards out beating the Moroccan goalkeeper, but it proved to be only consolation as Al Hilal held out to walk away with the three points.
Four-star Al Taawoun climb into the top four
Al Taawoun came from a goal down to thump Al Fayha 4-1 at Al Taawoun Club Stadium to climb back into the RSL top four with their second consecutive win.
The visitors took the lead inside six minutes when former Rangers forward Fashion Sakala exchanged passes with Henry Onyekuru before curling home his seventh goal of the campaign.
The comeback journey for coach Pericles Chamusca’s men started at the quarter-hour mark when Alvaro Medran supplied an exquisite long pass for Mateus Castro who finished first-time past goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.
Onyekuru thought he had restored Al Fayha’s lead, but the Nigerian was ruled offside. Instead, it was the hosts who went into the dressing rooms ahead as captain Aschraf El Mehdaioui converted from the spot to put them ahead.
A dominant second half saw Al Taawoun, propelled by a loud crowd in Buraidah, add two more goals. First it was another fine Medran assist to setup Musa Barrow for the third, before substitutes Ashraf Ahmed and Abdulfattah Adam combined for the fourth, with the latter sweeping home his colleague’s cross from the right to make it 4-1 and help Al Taawoun reach 31 points.
Al Khaleej hit Abha for three as Martins is sent-off
Al Khaleej returned to winning ways after two consecutive defeats as they overcame Abha 3-0 at the Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium in Dammam.
Fabio Martins opened the scoring with a curled effort from the edge of the area after 16 minutes, benefiting from a back pass by Khaled Narey to score his seventh goal of the campaign.
As Abha pushed forward in pursuit of an equaliser, Al Khaleej looked to strike on the counter and were successful in added time as Ivo Rodrigues picked the ball up deep inside his own half and supplied a defence-splitting pass for Mohammed Sherif. The Egyptian forward moved diagonally, beating two defenders before slotting home with his left to make it 2-0.
Rodrigues turned from provider to scorer himself just before the hour mark, collecting Narey’s pass inside the box and curling into the far corner to wrap up the victory for the side from Saihat. The celebrations were only dampened by a red card for Martins who received his second yellow card of the night with 20 minutes left.
Al Nassr celebrate Ronaldo milestone in style
Al Nassr bounced back from their derby defeat against Al Hilal with an emphatic 4-1 home victory against their other neighbours Al Riyadh, in a game that saw Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate his 1200th career appearance for clubs and country.
Ronaldo marked the occasion with the opening goal just after the half-hour mark, poking home Sadio Mane’s pinpoint cross for his 16th goal of the season.
The skipper wrapped up the first half with an exceptional assist, showing quick feet inside the box before scooping a cross that was met with a diving header from his compatriot Otavio for 2-0.
Anderson Talisca took over scoring duties in the second half, moving into double figures for the season with a brace. First, controlling Mane’s pass inside the box and slotting home in the 66th minute, then adding his side’s fourth with a well-taken header in added time following a Sultan Al Ghannam cross.
The two bright moments for Al Riyadh came midway through the second period with the return of Zimbabwe captain Knowledge Musona who was introduced as a substitute upon his recovery from an injury that had him sidelined for the past few weeks, and the consolation goal scored by Jamaican forward Andre Gray minutes later.