Thursday, May 23, 2024

Saudi Pro League: Mahrez and Firmino on target as Al-Ahli tighten grip on third place

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 May 2024

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Riyad Mahrez and Roberto Firmino were both on target as Al-Ahli tightened their grip on third place in the Saudi Pro League table with a 4-1 win over Damac on Thursday.

Matthias Jaissle’s team were four goals up within just 25 minutes as Damac folded, Ziyad Al Johani and Feras Al Brikan netting their first two before Franck Kessie was felled by Dhari Al Anazi for a penalty, converted by Mahrez.

Firmino then tapped home a fourth after being teed up by former Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin on the break, but Al-Ahli took their foot off the gas from there, Domagoj Antolic’s second-half consolation rounding off the scoring.

Elsewhere, 10-man Al-Riyadh scored two stoppage-time draws to earn a dramatic 2-2 draw with Al-Fateh in Al-Mubarraz.

Goals from Djaniny and former Columbus Crew star Lucas Zelarayan put Slaven Bilic’s hosts on the brink of victory, with Al-Riyadh playing almost half the game a player down after Khalid Al Shuwayyi’s 54th-minute red card.

An astonishing collapse denied them, however, with Mohammed Al Shwirekh halving the arrears one minute into stoppage time before Didier Ndong headed in a left-wing cross three minutes later.

Thursday’s other game saw Al-Hazm and Al-Akhdoud play out a goalless draw, keeping the hosts bottom of the table while Al-Akhdoud inched two points clear of the relegation zone.

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