Top two lead stunning Tuesday featuring 19 goals across four games

Al Hilal stroll to a 3-0 win against Al Okhdood

No Aleksandar Mitrovic, no problem for Al Hilal as the Roshn Saudi League leaders stretched their world-record winning streak to 31 games with a routine 3-0 win over strugglers Al Okhdood.

With striker Mitrovic on the sidelines for the next six weeks with a hamstring injury, Jorge Jesus elected to start striker Saleh Al Shehri. Thankfully for Al Hilal’s head coach, the Saudi Arabian international found the back of the net just 15 minutes into the contest.

Based out on the byline, Salem Al Dawsari drilled a pass to Ruben Neves. The Portuguese midfielder drifted a ball into the box which was met by the head of Al Shehri which found the back of the net. The perfect start for the 30-year-old.

Al Hilal bossed proceedings at the Kingdom Arena, and could have easily doubled their advantage through winter signing Renan Lodi. Al Dawsari surged forward and laid off the ball to right-back. His drilled strike was well saved by the feet of Al Okhdood keeper Abdulaziz Al Awardi.

Al Okhdood perhaps should have levelled the contest as midfielder Mohammed Al Jahif evaded two tackles to burst into the Al Hilal box. His shot was well saved, but the grimace from Al Hilal goalkeeper Bono told its own story.

The RSL league leaders kept pushing to double their lead and could have gone 2-0 up at the break had Ali Al Bulayhi’s towering header not creeped past the post.

Eventually Al Okhdood’s resilience was broken as Al Hilal went 2-0 up in the 66th minute via a lightning quick counter-attack. Al Dawsari with the decisive ball in his own half to play in Malcom, the Brazilian sprinted forward into acres of space before side footing the ball home.

Seven minutes later the contest was over. Neves won the ball and pushed up the right wing before delivering a perfect ball to the back post. Al Dawsari was on hand to score his 13th goal of the RSL season and ensure that Al Hilal racked up their 31st victory in all competitions.

Ruthless Ronny inspires Al Nassr to thrash Abha 8-0

Cristiano Ronaldo netted a hat-trick for a second consecutive RSL game and provided two assists as Al Nassr thrashed relegation threatened Abha 8-0 on Tuesday evening.

The Portuguese star opened the scoring just 11 minutes into the contest. A rasping free-kick went under the wall, came off the boot of Abha goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu and nestled into the back of the net. 

Just ten minutes later, Ronaldo doubled his and Al Nassr’s tally again with a free-kick, this time Tatarusanu was rooted to the spot as the 30-yard effort delightfully curved into the bottom corner. Ronaldo turned provider just after the half-hour mark as his attempted cross was pushed away by Tatarusanu leaving Sadio Mane an easy tap in.

The goals did not stop flowing for Al Nassr and Ronaldo who inevitably completed his hat-trick with an impudent chip in the 42nd minute. That made it 29 goals in just 24 RSL starts for Al Nassr’s number seven. Immediately from the restart, Luis Castro’s men made it 5-0. Sadio Mane won the ball and raced forward playing the ball into Ronaldo who simply knocked the ball across the box to Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem for a simple finish.

 Mercifully for Abha, Ronaldo and Sadio Mane were substituted but that didn't halt the free flowing attacking football from Al Nassr. Abdulrahman Ghareeb scored the sixth goal of the game as he timed his run to perfection to latch onto Otavio’s slide rule pass and confidently dispatched the ball past Tatarusanu.

Al Nassr were unrelenting in the second half and this was typified by the attitude of 20-year old Abdulaziz Al Elewa, who came on for Mane at half-time. The youngster capped off a memorable 45 minute cameo with two goals to close out the tie in his fourth appearance for the club.

Abha will be looking to shake off that defeat and quickly, they take on Al Fateh on Sunday evening. Meanwhile Al Nassr will be targeting a fourth consecutive RSL victory as they head to Damac on Friday.

Al Taawoun fight back to break Al Tai hearts

Al Taawoun mounted an impressive second-half comeback to come back to defeat Al Tai 3-2 on Tuesday evening.

The hosts, who currently sit in 16th place in the RSL standings underlined their attacking intentions as early as the seventh minute. Midfielder Rakan Al Shamlan drove into the box, and his right footed strike was pushed away by Al Taawoun goalkeeper Mailson.

Al Tai needed a slice of fortune to open the scoring. On the counter-attack Salman Al Moasher waited for the overlapping run of right-back Safwan Al Johani. The first time cross ricocheted in the box before Al Taawoun defender Andrei Girotto turned the ball into his own net.

The hosts couldn't believe their luck when they quickly doubled their advantage on the half-hour mark this time via the left wing. Midfielder Alfa Semedo pushed into the box and his cut-back was met by Marko Dugandzic, the Croatian side footed home for only his second goal of the RSL season.

Al Taawoun are still in the mix for AFC Champions League football next season, and started their comeback in first half stoppage-time. Mohammed Al Kuwaykibi curled in a delightful ball to the box to find an unmarked Abdulmalek Al Shammeri who saw his header skip off the turf and into the back of the net.

Deep into stoppage time Al Tai thought they went 3-1 up as Dugandzic held off his marker and turned the ball in from Robert Bauer’s long throw in. The offside flag and subsequent VAR check halted any celebrations.

Al Taawoun stepped it up a gear in the second half, and underlined their intentions as Flavio smashed a 40-yard effort just over the bar. On the hour mark, the side from Buraidah came close to levelling the contest up when Abdulfattah Adam hit the underside of the crossbar from a Cristian Guanca corner.

Al Tai defended diligently, but eventually conceded in the 73rd minute. Substitute Fahad Al Abdulrazzaq played in Pedro who registered his ninth RSL goal of the season as he flicked the ball to the back post to make it 2-2.

With 85 minutes on the clock, Al Taawoun completed their comeback. Pedro clipped in a ball from the left wing, which met the head of Flavio. His effort rebounded off the post, but Al Kuwaykibi was on hand to tuck in the rebound to seal a memorable night for Pericles Chamusca's side.

After throwing away the points, Al Tai will be looking to get back on track against Al Shabab on Saturday evening. Whilst Al Taawoun head to Jeddah to take on Al Ittihad on Friday night.

Inspirational Mohamedi helps Al Wehda stop winless streak

Al Wehda halted a seven game winless streak in the RSL as they came away from Al Fayha's home with a vital 2-1 victory. The hosts made a strong start at Al Majma’ah Sports City and thought they broke the deadlock in the 25th minute.

Fashion Sakala jinked his way down the wing and picked out Moroccan playmaker Abdelhamid Sabiri, his first time shot was saved by his compatriot Munir Mohamedi and the rebound was turned in by Henry Onyekuru who was in an offside position.

The first half lacked many clear-cut chances but that emphatically changed in the second half when Costa Rican defender Oscar Duarte headed Al Wehda ahead. Faycal Fajr provided the ball from a set-piece and Durate nodded the ball past Vladimir Stojkovic. Sublime stuff from the Costa Rican international.

Just six minutes later, Al Fayha found themselves level. Patient buildup play saw Sakala trade a one-two with Sabiri, before pushing into the box and smashing a right footed strike off the post and into the back of the net. It was an 11th RSL goal, in what has been a memorable debut season for the Zambian.

Al Wehda edged ahead in the 56th minute as they took advantage of some slack defending from the hosts. Al Fayha failed to clear from a corner, leaving the ball to bobble in the box. Anselmo was in the right place to turn the ball home from close range. A third goal in two RSL outings for Al Wehda’s Brazilian midfielder.

Al Fayha pushed for parity and saw long-range strikes from Sakala and Ghislain Konan well saved by Mohamedi. The Moroccan goalkeeper was in inspired form and saved his heroics for the final moment of regular time with a fine double save. First to deny a deflected shot from Sabiri before tipping the subsequent effort from Konan over the bar.

Still, Al Wehda survived the late onslaught to come away with all three points. The victory means that the side from Mecca moved into eleventh place on 30 points. As for Al Fayha they dropped down to tenth place on 32 points.