The Roshn Saudi League whipped back into action on Wednesday night, with the rescheduled Matchweek 19 encounter between Al Tai and Al Ittihad.
The defending champions, playing the postponed game because of their 2023 Fifa Club World Cup commitments in December, eventually ran out 3-0 winners, with Abderrazzaq Hamdallah, Faisal Al Ghamdi and Romarinho on the score sheet.
It took Al Ittihad only eight minutes to break the deadlock at the Prince Abdulaziz bin Musa’ed Stadium, when Hamdallah swept home an acrobatic finish from debutant Fawaz Al Saqour's low cross from the right. The goal marked the Moroccan striker’s 11 of the RSL campaign – from 15 matches.
Marcelo Gallardo’s side then doubled their advantage three minutes before half-time. This time, Faisal Al Ghamdi slotted home from close range following fine work down the Al Ittihad left flank by full-back Madallah Al Olayan.
Al Ittihad wrapped up the points three minutes from the end of the contest, Romarinho latching onto a slide pass from N’Golo Kante to drill a superb shot high into the Al Tai net.
The victory moves Al Ittihad up to fifth in the 2023-24 standings, three points off Al Taawoun in fourth. The Jeddah club feature next in the RSL on February 18, with a home match against fourth-from-bottom Al Riyadh.
Al Tai, meanwhile, remain in 16th place. They travel to ninth-placed Al Wehda on February 16.
Matchweek 20 in the RSL kicks off on February 15, with Abha hosting Al Taawoun and Al Khaleej at home to Al Ettifaq.