Al Taawoun back to winning ways, draws in Riyadh and Al Ahsa

Al Okhdood made to rue costly errors as rampant Al Taawoun run out 3-1 winners

Al Okhdood made two costly defensive errors to hand Al Taawoun a 3-1 on victory on Friday evening.

Backed by a boisterous home support, Al Taawoun opened the scoring with the game just six minutes old in a moment that Al Okhdood keeper Paulo Vitor would like to forget. A slick training ground free-kick saw Musa Barrow exchange a pass with midfielder Aschraf El Mahdioui. The long-range effort from the Gambian looked to be easily gathered by Vitor, but a nightmare fumble saw the Brazilian stopper palm the strike into the net.

The Wolves were in the mood, and deservedly doubled their advantage just three minutes later. Mateus Castro tenaciously pressed and won the ball up deep in the Al Okhdood half. A deft pass into the path of Abdulfattah Adam, and a sumptuous right footed outside of the boot finish from the Saudi striker had Al Taawoun 2-0 ahead.


Barrow had a dream chance to place his side 3-0 up just moments later as his strike from outside the box thundered off the post. Al Okhdood had their first shot on target 40 minutes into the contest. Alex Collado jinked his way through the Al Taawoun backline, but the tame effort from the Spaniard was gathered by Mailson.

Just before the hour mark, the visitors pulled a goal back as a well worked corner routine found Andrei Burca at the back post. The Romanian nodded the ball back into the path of defender Saeed Al Rubaie who was on hand to sweep the ball home from close range.

Al Okhdood pressed for parity, and Alex Collado had a dangerous free-kick that Mailson was just able to get to. With five minutes left in the contest yet another Al Okhdood defensive error handed their opponents all three points. On a counter-attack Barrow played a through ball which painfully slipped under the feet of Al Okhdood defender Hussain Al Zabdani and towards Mohammed Al Kuwaykibi who drove with the ball before a gleefully dinked finish that nestled into the corner to secure the win for Al Taawoun. 

Musona stunner hands Al Riyadh a point against Al Raed

Knowledge Musona scored a sensational equaliser as Al Riyadh came back to secure a 1-1 draw against relegation rivals Al Raed.

Al Riyadh made a fine start as Musona and strike partner Andre Gray produced two chances which were beaten away by Al Raed keeper Andre Moreira. It was the visitors who grew in confidence as the half progressed and attacker Julio Tavares spurned a perfect chance to open the scoring just after the half hour mark.

The Cape Verdean pounced on a defensive slip, but his clipped effort squirmed just wide at the far post. Tavares did however have a hand in the opener, a long ball from Mathias Normann was nodded down to his strike partner Karim El Berkaoui who turned the ball home on the stretch. Mohammed Fouzair thought he fired Al Raed 2-0 up deep into first-half stoppage time, but his goal was chalked off for a foul on Al Riyadh keeper Martin Campana in the build-up.


Normann stood out in the midfield for Al Raed, and his sizzling long-range strike was pushed away by Campana early in the second half. The visitors looked the most likely to push ahead and El Berkaoui just missed a diving header that would have surely put the contest out of reach of Al Riyadh. 

That all changed thanks to a sensational strike from Musona. The Zimbabwean striker stood over a free-kick on the left wing, and produced a perfect right-footed strike which curled and arched into the top corner and out of the reach of Moreira. A fitting moment for the Al Riyadh captain, and a vital point for his side in their quest to stay in the RSL.


Al Fateh and Damac share the spoils

Al Fateh made a fast start at their home ground and could have been ahead as early as the second minute of the contest. Mourad Batna picked out Cristian Tello with a dangerous cross, but the Spaniard’s first touch was heavy allowing Damac defender Noor Al Rashidi to come up with a vital block.

The home side pressed for an opening and the first half, and came close just after the half hour mark as Tello launched a blistering shot from outside the box. Damac keeper Moustapha Zeghba was more than equal to the effort, calmly gathering the ball.

The second half saw Al Fateh rewarded for all their attacking endeavour. Tello set the tone, winning the ball on the ball on the left wing and masterfully switching the play to fellow attacker Batna who charged into the Damac box. A quick cut-back to Zelarayan and his effort was palmed away by Zeghba, but midfielder Sofiane Bendebka was the quickest to the rebound to head the hosts deservedly into the lead.

Damac sprung into life in search of an equaliser. Increasingly, winger Georges-Kevin N'Koudou's influence was being felt and a drilled strike on the hour mark showed the intent of the Cameroonian international.

Just five minutes later, N'Koudou and Damac had the goal that they had been looking for. A dangerous free-kick was cleared by the Al Fateh backline and midfielder Tarek Hamed simply laid the ball to N'Koudou, who unleashed a glorious left footed shot that skipped into the far corner and just avoided the grasp of keeper Jacob Rinne for his 15th goal of the RSL season.

N'Koudou lashed home what he thought was his second goal of the evening in the 77th minute. After a lengthy VAR check, Al Fatah attacker Zelarayan was judged to have been fouled in the build-up and the goal was denied. In the closing moments Damac midfielder Domagoj Antolic spurned a perfect opportunity to win the contest with a volley that sailed over the bar as both teams settled for a point.