Saudi Pro League Standings As Ronaldo Scores and Mosimane Plays His First Game as Abha Boss

Saudi Pro League Standings As Ronaldo Scores and Mosimane Plays His First Game as Abha Boss

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
updated at February 19, 2024 at 12:13 PM
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Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
Al Nassr FC logoFPortugal logo
Karim Benzema logo
K.Benzema
Al-Ittihad Club logoFFrance logo
Saudi Professional League logo
KSA Professional League
Saudi Arabia
Al Nassr FC logo
Al Nassr
Saudi Arabia
32
Al-Hilal Saudi FC logo
Al-Hilal Saudi FC
Saudi Arabia
28
Ivan Rakitić logo
I. Rakitić
Al-Shabab FC logoMCroatia logo
  • The second round of the Saudi League is in full swing
  • Top sides Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr all recorded victories
  • Meanwhile, Mosimane's Abha had to settle for a draw

The 2023–2024 Saudi Pro League resumed after the December break and the conclusion of the Asian Cup over the weekend.

Predictably, Riyadh-based title chasers, Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr, maintained their pursuit of the ultimate prize, while defending champions Al Ittihad secured a victory upon the return of talisman Karim Benzema.

Saudi League, standings, Karim Benzema, Pitso Mosimane, Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr and Benzema's Al Ittihad recorded wins, while Mosimane's Abha drew on the Saudi League return. Photo credit: @AlNassrFC_EN, @ittihad_en and @SPL_EN.
Source: Twitter

Meanwhile, prolific hitmen Cristiano Ronaldo and Aleksandar Mitrovic continued from where they left off after the break, and esteemed South African manager Pitso Mosimane debuted as manager of Abha Club.

In this edition, Sports Brief examines the outcomes of matchday 20 in the Saudi League, marking the commencement of league action in 2024 over the weekend.

Recap of matchday 20 results

Matchday 20 commenced with a thrilling encounter at the Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium, where Abha Club hosted Al Taawoun amid the romantic backdrop of Valentine's Day.

It marked the debut of Mosimane as Abha's manager, witnessing his team seize a late lead only to settle for a draw three minutes from time, per GOAL.

While disappointing, the result served as a stark reminder of the challenges ahead for the former Al Ahli boss in his mission to revitalize Abha's fortunes.

Meanwhile, in Dammam, Steven Gerrard's Al Ettifaq secured their first league victory since October 28, 2023, as cited by Liverpool Echo.

With key reinforcements acquired during the January transfer window, Gerrard's side clinched a 2-0 win over Al Khaleej, courtesy of goals from former PSG and Liverpool star Gini Wijnaldum and Demarai Gray, formerly of Everton.

At the Damac Club Stadium, Ivan Rakitic marked his debut in the Saudi top flight with a stunning long-range strike, securing a narrow victory for Al Shabab over Damac.

However, Al Ahli suffered a setback, succumbing to a 3-2 defeat against Al Akhdoud despite Roberto Firmino ending his goal drought with a goal.

In another fixture, Cristiano Ronaldo's Al-Nassr faced a tough challenge against Al Fateh, with the 39-year-old breaking the deadlock early on, ESPN reports.

Despite conceding an equaliser, Al-Nassr secured a hard-fought 2-1 victory, courtesy of Otavio's match-winning goal.

League leaders Al-Hilal showcased their dominance with a commanding 3-1 win over Al Raed, with Aleksandar Mitrovic netting twice and Kalidou Koulibaly adding another.

Additionally, Karim Benzema's return to the Al Ittihad team proved fruitful, as Abderrazak Hamdallah's brace secured a routine victory over Al Riyadh, underlining their slim title ambitions.

Saudi League standings

Following the hiatus, the Saudi Pro League standings have seen minimal shifts.

Al-Hilal maintains their dominance at the summit, leading with an impressive 56 points from 20 matches. They boast the league's highest goal tally, an outstanding 62 goals, and boast the best defensive record, conceding just 10 goals.

Al-Nassr, last season's runners-up, closely trail their Riyadh counterparts, amassing 49 points with 57 goals scored ahead of their upcoming clash with Al Shabab.

Despite a setback on matchday 20, Al Ahli remains in third place, trailing Al-Nassr by nine points.

Al-Taawoun occupies the fourth position with 35 points from 20 games. Defending champions Al Ittihad show signs of resurgence, accumulating 34 points at this stage of the competition.

On the other end of the spectrum, Al Hazem appears destined for relegation, having amassed only 13 points. Mosimane's Abha Club occupies 17th place with 15 points.

Rounding out the bottom three is Al Taee, who earned a point with a 1-1 draw against Al Wehda, bringing their total to 18 points. Al Riyadh and Al Raed are precariously close to the relegation zone with 19 points each.

Authors
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe photo
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe is a Ligue 1, Bundesliga, and La Liga editor with five-year experience. He previously worked with Sports Corna and 360SportsGH.
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