Home wins for Al Shabab and Al Fateh, points shared in Buraidah

Five-star Al Shabab humble Abha

Yannick Carrasco came up with two goals and an assist as Al Shabab put in a fine second half performance as they thrashed strugglers Abha 5-0 on Thursday evening.

The first half started with a familiar pattern of Al Shabab dominating possession and Abha trying to breakaway on the counter.

Surprisingly, It was the away side that created the first chance of note when former Al Shabab midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak clipped in a ball into the box on the breakaway. The acrobatic volley from winger Abdulelah Al Shammari flew just over the bar, much to the pain of boss Pitso Mosimane on the sidelines. 

Slowly, the chances started flowing for Al Shabab. Club captain Romain Saiss could have opened the scoring with a spectacular shot from his own half. Abha goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu did just enough to tip the ball over the bar.

Moments later Tatarusanu was powerless to halt Nawaf Al Saadi’s drilled strike that rebounded off the post.

With the first half coming to a close the home side deservedly opened the scoring. Midfielder Musab Al Juwayr turned his marker before finding Carrasco with a dinked pass. The Belgian simply guided the ball home to put Al Shabab ahead at the break.

In the 57th minute Al Shabab took advantage of a defensive mishap from Abha to double their advantage. Right-back Fahad Al Jumayah failed to clear his lines, allowing Senegal international Habib Diallo to side foot home his fifth goal of the season.

Al Shabab were in the ascendancy and closed out the second half in style.

Carrasco turned provider to put the contest out of Abha’s reach 21 minutes later. After pinning Abha back in their own box, the winger provided a cutback on the byline that found Carlos Junior who had an easy tap-in at the back post.

The Brazilian had another simple finish to complete his brace in the 84th minute. Hamad Al Yami surged into the box on the counter, and unselfishly centred the ball to Junior for the finish.

Junior returned the assist to Carasso to cap off a memorable evening for Al Shabab deep into second-half stoppage time. The victory means that the side from Riyadh moved up to ninth in the table on 35 points. As for Abha, they remain just a point clear of the relegation zone on 25 points in 15th place.

Djaniny on song as Al Fateh see off Al Raed

Cape Verdean striker Djaniny impressed, scoring twice as Al Fateh picked up a 3-1 win over Al Raed.

It was a fast start at the Al Fateh Club Stadium as the hosts raced into a two goal lead with the game barely just 12 minutes old.

A misplaced backpass from Al Raed defender Oumar Gonzalez was seized upon by Djaniny who rounded the goalkeeper before rolling the ball home from a tight angle in the seventh minute to open the scoring.

Al Fateh pressed on and went 2-0 up five minutes later. Lucas Zelarayan and Cristian Tello traded passes in central midfield before the Armenian found himself with plenty of space 30-yards from goal. Zelarayan composed himself, before a blistering left-footed strike arrowed into the bottom corner to hand his team the advantage early on.

The hosts could have easily been 3-0 up inside 22 minutes when Djaniny won a penalty. The Cape Verdean striker stepped up but his tame effort was stopped by Al Raed keeper Andre Moreira to keep the visitors firmly in the contest.

Djaniny was at the heart of Al Fateh’s attacking play and missed another chance to double his own tally as the first half came to a close. Patient build-up play saw the ball fall to  Zelarayan on the left wing, his cross found the head of his attack partner but the effort just skipped over the bar.

Slaven Bilić’s side continued to press for a third. The last action of the half saw Al Fatah attacker Tello smash the crossbar from a 30-yard free-kick.

Ten minutes after the restart, Al Raed thought they had a lifeline when striker Júlio Tavares headed home his seventh goal of the campaign from Hamad Al Jayzani’s deep cross.

That joy, however, would prove to be short lived as Al Fateh went 3-1 up on the hour mark. Veteran left-back Tawfiq Buhuaimed arched in a perfect pass down the wing to match the run of Djaniny who placed the ball through the legs of Moreira to seal all three points.

The victory means that Al Fateh are up to sixth place in the standings on 40 points. Al Raed remain in 13th place, six points away from the relegation places on 30 points. 

Honours even between Al Taawoun and Al Khaleej

Al Taawoun and Al Khaleej shared the spoils in an entertaining 1-1 draw on Thursday evening. The side from Saihat pressed forward from the very start at the Al Taawoun Club Stadium and could have been ahead just two minutes into the contest.

Khaled Narey scampered down the wing, and his cross was met by Fabio Martins. The first time strike from the Portuguese playmaker was well saved by reigning RSL goalkeeper of the month, Mailson. Martins soon crafted a second chance for his side from a similar distance. This time his effort skidded well wide of the post.

Al Taawoun scored the opening goal with their first shot on target in the 20th minute. Mohammed Al Kuwaykibi found himself with time and space on the right wing after a snappy one-two with Cristian Guanca. The Saudi Arabian winger drifted in a inch perfect cross to the back post which was met by Abdulfattah Adam who headed home his sixth goal of the season.

The visitors pressed for parity and thought they had it when Ivo Rodrigues latched onto Pedro Rebocho’s corner. Unfortunately for the Portuguese midfielder, Mailson denied the goalbound effort with an instinctive save. Mailson was again in the thick of the action, pulling off a fine stop to halt an effort from Saudi Arabian right-back Mansour Hamzi in the 38th minute.

Al Khaleej closed the half out well and eventually found themselves level in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Togo international Narey played in a dangerous ball into the box from a free kick, which came off the head of Al Taawoun defender Awn Al Saluli and rolled into the net via a rebound off Mailson.

The second half saw Al Taawoun press forward in search of a winner, and with 77 minutes on the clock they thought they pushed ahead as Adam smashed the ball into the bottom corner. However the celebrations were quickly halted by an offside flag. Both sides eventually settling for a share of the points.

Al Taawoun are now up to fourth place in the RSL standings, stretching their undefeated streak to five games. Al Khaleej drop to eleventh place on 35 points.