After scoring twice in Al-Nassr’s 2-1 extra-time victory over Al-Hilal, a Saudi team, Cristiano Ronaldo led Al-Nassr to their first ever Arab Club Champions Cup triumph on Saturday. Al-Nassr only had 10 players available for the match.
Ronaldo did not win a trophy in his previous season after moving to Al-Nassr, who ended in second place in the Saudi Pro League. However, the 38-year-old scored six times in the competition, making him the tournament’s leading scorer and helping Al-Nassr win the title.
Teams from countries including as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria competed in this competition, which features the best Arab clubs from the surrounding area.
The star-studded Al-Nassr side had many opportunities to score in the first half, but goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais was able to prevent them all from doing so. Sadio Mane, Seko Fofana, and Marcelo Brozovic were the players who had their shots blocked.
At the King Fahd Sports City stadium, the game stayed scoreless until six minutes into the second half, when Al-Hilal’s Malcom crossed the ball and found fellow Brazilian Michael, who put his team ahead with a free header. Prior to that, the game had been scoreless.
The 27-year-old even produced the Ronaldo goal celebration as he rushed to the corner flag and jumped into the air after scoring, rubbing salt into their wounds in the process.
That appeared to fire up Ronaldo, and the Portugal captain equalized the score in the 74th minute. He scored for the fifth game in a row when he got on the end of a low cross that was sent by Sultan Al-Ghannam, who plays on the right side of defense.
The Al-Nassr defender Abdulelah Al-Amri was shown the red card in the second half, and then the Al-Nassr bench player Nawaf Boushal was shown the red card for fighting with an official while he was on the bench. Despite these two red cards, the Al-Nassr team was able to hang on and force the game into extra time.
After that, Ronaldo extended the lead in the first half of extra time by capitalizing on a rebound off the crossbar and heading the ball into the net when the goalkeeper was off his line.
Concerns were raised, however, when Ronaldo had to be carried off the field after a collision in the second half of extra time with what appeared to be an injury. This occurred just two days before their Saudi Pro League start against Al-Ettifaq, so the timing was not ideal.