Thursday, May 23, 2024

Al-Nassr 3-1 Al-Khaleej: Ronaldo nets twice and passes up penalty in cup semi-final

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 May 2024

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Cristiano Ronaldo returned to the scoresheet with two goals as Al-Nassr beat Al-Khaleej 3-1 to reach the final of the King Cup of Champions on Wednesday.

Ronaldo scored either side of half-time as Al-Nassr teed up a final clash with Saudi Pro League leaders Al-Hilal, who beat Al-Ittihad 2-1 in the other semi-final on Tuesday.

The former Real Madrid and Manchester United star took advantage of an error from opposing goalkeeper Ibrahim Sehic to open the scoring 17 minutes in, then tapped home at the second attempt to make it a double shortly before the hour mark.

That goal could have made it a hat-trick for the Portugal star, but he passed up the chance to take a first-half penalty after Ivo Rodrigues handled in the area, Sadio Mane instead stepping up to blast his kick into the top corner.

Fawaz Al Terais was on target late on for Al-Khaleej, but that proved a mere consolation in a one-sided affair which saw Al-Nassr rack up 21 shots and 3.78 expected goals (xG), with their opponents managing just nine shots totalling 1.37 xG.

Data Debrief: Ronaldo’s mini drought over

Ronaldo was frustrated against Al-Khaleej in the Saudi Pro League on Saturday, but he was back on song against the same opponents on Wednesday to end his mini drought of two games.

While Ronaldo’s 43 touches were the fewest of any outfielder to start for Al-Nassr, he managed seven shots, five shots from inside the area and four dribbles – all game-high figures.

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