Leaders Al Hilal leave it late, Hamdallah makes history

Al Hilal extend winning streak with dramatic victory against Damac

Al Hilal needed an injury-time goal from Michael to stretch their world-record winning streak to 29 games with a 2-1 triumph over Damac on Saturday night.

The league leaders started on the front foot at Kingdom Arena, with Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic coming close to opening the scoring with two chances. First, the former Lazio star sent a towering near-post header from a Salem Al Dawsari cross just wide, before then planting another over the crossbar from Michael’s deep centre.

It wasn't long until fellow Serb Aleksandar Mitrovic got in on the act, the in-form striker creating his first scoring opportunity just before the half hour. Saudi Arabia international Saud Abdulhamid stood up a perfect ball to the back post and Mitrovic looked certain to find the back of the net, but he somehow headed inches wide.


With the half coming to a close, Georges-Kevin N'Koudou created a chance to put Damac ahead. After the ball was switched to the winger on the left flank, his subsequent dribble and shot skipped not far past the post.

The final act of the half saw Mitrovic spur a glorious chance to put Al Hilal 1-0 up. Slick play between Al Dawsari and Milinkovic-Savic saw the ball cut back to Mitrovic, but again he uncharacteristically failed to find the target.

Not long into the second half, Al Hilal thought they had a penalty when Ruben Neves fell in the Damac area. After initially pointing to the spot, the referee was called to the VAR monitor and, on further inspection he overturned his initial decision - much to the frustration of the majority of fans at Kingdom Arena.

The disappointment wouldn't last long, though, as Al Hilal opened the scoring in the 78th minute. Malcom provided the cross, Milinkovic-Savic nodded the header down and Al Dawsari took a touch to compose himself for smashing a shot into the bottom corner. The veteran winger sealed his celebration with a kiss, and Al Hilal could breathe a little easy heading into the final stages.

However, Damac had other ideas, and found themselves level seven minutes later. A training-ground corner routine allowed Romanian Nicolae Stanciu to pick out Domagoj Antolic on the penalty spot, and the Croatian midfielder’s first-time strike went through the legs of Al Hilal defender Ali Al Bulayhi to wrongfoot Yassine Bono in goal.

Yet Damac’s joy was short-lived. Just two minutes later, the visitors were reduced to ten men when Dhari Al Enezi was shown a straight red for raking his studs down the calf of Michael. That proved to be the pivotal moment of the match as Al Hilal made their numerical advantage count in the dying moments.

In the third minute of stoppage time, Nasser Al Dawsari drifted a cross to the back-post that found Michael, who headed the ball into the turf. His effort bounced just out of reach of Damac goalkeeper Moustapha Zeghba. Understandably, the goal sparked joyous scenes.

The RSL frontrunners will now rest during the international break before looking to add yet another victory to their record-breaking streak – their league record extends to 17 wins - as they host Al Shabab in a Riyadh derby. Damac, meanwhile, drop a spot to seventh.

History for Hamdallah as Ittihad seal win at Al Fateh

Abderrazzaq Hamdallah is now the second-highest scorer in RSL history after he netted a brace to help Al Ittihad to a 4-2 victory at Al Fateh.

It was an eventful start at the Al Fateh Club Stadium, when only six minutes in, Al Fateh grabbed the lead once Salem Al Najdi sent a header past Al Ittihad goalkeeper Abdullah Al Mayouf.

However, just after the half hour, Al Ittihad drew level from the penalty spot. Ammar Al Duhaim looked to have tripped Jota in the Al Fateh area and, after an extensive VAR review, the foul was given. Hamdallah was the personification of cool as he drove the ball into the top corner to make it 1-1. The goal marked the Moroccan’s 16th of the RSL season.

The reigning RSL champions were in fine form and soon enough edged ahead in first-half stoppage time. Midfielder N’Golo Kante burst into the Al Fateh box and calmly laid the ball to Jota, who found the bottom corner with a wave of his left boot. It represented the Portuguese attacker’s first goal in the RSL since August.

To their credit, Al Fateh started the second half brightly as Lucas Zelarayan provided a perfect dinked pass in the direction of Cristian Tello, only for the Spaniard’s finish to fly just wide of Al Mayouf’s goal.

The goal of the contest was scored in the 63rd minute. Al Ittihad right-back Fawaz Al Saqour knocked the ball into the path of Ahmed Al Ghamdi, who took a touch before coming up with a delightful, curled effort past Al Fateh goalkeeper Jacob Rinne.

Yet, two minutes later, Saad Al Shurafa’s impressive swivel and shot pulled Al Fateh back into the game at 3-2. It would prove to be Hamdallah and Al Ittihad who had the final say, though.

With 16 minutes remaining, Al Ghamdi came up with the cross that evaded everyone - Rinne should have dealt with the ball better - leaving Hamdallah on hand to head in at the far post. The prolific striker registered his 127th goal in the RSL, meaning he sits now out on his own in second in the all-time charts, behind only Omar Al Somah (144).

Late on, Al Ittihad defender Madallah Al Olayan picked up a second yellow for a dive in the Al Fateh area, although it mattered little on the night. The side from Jeddah held on to pick up a morale-boosting victory after exiting the AFC Champions League earlier in the week at the hands of Al Hilal.

Al Ittihad are fourth in the table, now only four points behind city rivals Al Ahli, while Al Fateh lie in ninth place.

Impressive turnout cheer on stalemate in the Qassim Derby

Al Raed and Al Taawoun shared the points following a 0-0 draw in the Qassim derby on Saturday evening.

An impressive 15,473 fans made their way to the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Buraidah for the highly anticipated game, but the action on the pitch didn't quite measure up to the vocal support in the stands.

It was the hosts Al Raed who made the brighter start when attacker Mohammed Fouzair picked up a clearance from Al Taawoun midfielder Saad Al Nasser on the edge of the area. Disappointingly for Al Raed’s Moroccan, though, he blazed his chance high over the bar.


At the other end, Al Taawoun striker Joao Pedro pulled a header just wide from a Cristian Guanca corner, much to the dismay of coach Pericles Chamusca on the sidelines.

The best chance of the encounter came via the work of Al Taawoun winger Mohammed Al Kuwaykibi. Leaving three Al Raed defenders for dead, the former Al Ettifaq man drilled the ball to Pedro at the near post, which initially rebounded off Al Raed defender Mamadou Loum and onto the upright. At the second opportunity, Pedro rattled the woodwork.

The second half continued to offer few opportunities, with Al Taawoun dominating possession, although it was Al Raed who created the better chances in the closing stages.


Karim El Berkaoui found himself in the Al Taawoun area and bent his shot towards the bottom corner, only for goalkeeper Mailson to come up with a fine save to deny him. Moments afterwards, forward Amir Sayoud sent another shot towards goal, but the Brazilian was again equal to it.

In the end, both sides had to settle for the point, even if Al Raed may be happier with the result. They now sit in 13th place, two points above the relegation zone, with Al Taawoun fifth - three points behind fourth-placed Al Ittihad.