Al Khaleej see off Al Fayha to keep climbing up table
Al Khaleej continued their impressive resurgence in recent matches, securing an emphatic 3-0 victory at home at the expense of Al Fayha at the Prince Mohammed bin Fahd Stadium.
Korean midfielder Jung Woo-young opened the scoring for Al Khaleej in the 21st minute with a curled free-kick from 25 yards out which clipped the hands of goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic before nestling into the top corner of Al Fayha’s net.
Togolese forward Khaled Narey doubled his side’s lead from the penalty spot just after the half-hour mark.
Just eight minutes before the final whistle, the win was sealed after a Narey cross from the right flank was converted inadvertently into the back of Al Fayha’s net by their captain Sami Al Khaibari.
The result sees Al Khaleej move into the top ten for the first time this season, overtaking Al Fayha. Coach Pedro Emanuel’s men have also now climbed five places in the table over the course of December.
In-form Damac move into top five following fifth win on spin
Damac moved into fifth in the RSL table with a fifth consecutive victory as a sweeping second-half performance at their home ground in Khamis Mushait saw them brush aside Al Tai 3-0.
After a scoreless first half, the hosts opened the scoring through captain Farouk Chafai who pounced on the rebound following Nicolae Stanciu’s free-kick that was spilled by goalkeeper Victor Braga into the path of the Algerian defender who bagged his third goal of the campaign.
Another Stanciu set-piece produced Damac’s second just five minutes before the end of 90 as the Romanian found Abdelkader Badrane inside the box and the other Algerian defender poked it home to double the home side’s lead.
Al Tai’s woes were compounded in added time when Bernard Mensah was sent-off, then goalkeeper Braga was stretched off with an injury, and with all substitutions already made, it was left to forward Hazza Al Hazza to replace him between the sticks.
Stanciu took advantage of the situation and capped up his exceptional performance with a well-taken lobbed finish for his side’s third to sign off the win.
Leaders Al Hilal go seven-up as Milinkovic-Savic nets career-first hat-trick
The final game of Thursday was a walk in the Prince Faisal bin Fahad Sports City park for Al Hilal who got their seven-goal rampage up and running in the 17th minute when Yasser Al Shahrani marked his return from injury with an assist as he moved behind the dafence to head Malcom’s diagonal pass back across the mouth of goal for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic who applied the finish.
Aleksandar Mitrovic doubled Al Hilal’s tally from the penalty spot in the 25th minute, converting confidently after Salem Al Dawsari was brought down inside the box. The Serbian’s 16th goal of the campaign sees him draw level with Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the scoring charts.
Al Hilal added their third of the evening in the 73rd minute through Al Dawsari. The winger was left with the simplest of tasks to finish into the empty net after Michael’s toe-poked finish was parried away by goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu into the path of Al Dawsari who applied the finishing touch.
Serbian duo Mitrovic and Milinkovic-Savic combined for Al Hilal’s fourth with 11 minutes left on the clock as the former Fulham striker squared from the right for his international teammate to sweep home.
Substitute Mohammed Kanno added his name to the scoresheet the 82nd minute with a fine solo effort that saw him advance into the box and dance his way past a couple of Abha defenders before hammering home with his left for 5-0.
There was still time for a sixth goal as Ruben Neves lined up and perfectly curled in a free-kick into the top corner, while Milinkovic-Savic sealed his hat-trick with a header in injury-time. It marked the former Lazio star's first-ever treble.