Ronaldo’s Milestone Goal Shifts Saudi League Dynamics: Latest Standings As Mosimane’s Side Falters

Ronaldo’s Milestone Goal Shifts Saudi League Dynamics: Latest Standings As Mosimane’s Side Falters

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
February 26, 2024 at 6:43 AM
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Cristiano Ronaldo logo
C. Ronaldo
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Al Nassr
Saudi Arabia
Al-Hilal Saudi FC logo
Al-Hilal Saudi FC
Saudi Arabia
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Saudi Arabia
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South Africa
South Africa
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R. Firmino
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  • Matchday 21 in the Saudi League unfolded over the weekend
  • Ronaldo reached a milestone as Pitso Mosimane faltered
  • Sports Brief delves into the happenings of the Middle East country

The Saudi Pro League crossed its midpoint as matchday 21 unfolded over the weekend, with a couple of outstanding games scheduled for Monday, February 26.

While Al-Hilal will face Al-Ettifaq later on Monday, second-placed Al-Nassr seized the opportunity to narrow the gap at the top of the table with a hard-fought victory against Al Shabab on Sunday.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Pitso Mosimane, Saudi Pro League, table, Al-Nassr, Abha, 800 goal
Cristiano Ronaldo spurred Al-Nassr to victory as Pitso Mosimane tasted his first loss as Abha boss. Photo credit: @Abhafc_english, @sportsbriefcom and @AlNassrFC_EN.
Source: Twitter

As anticipated, Cristiano Ronaldo contributed to the scoreline, but his 22nd league goal of the season held special significance as it marked the 800th goal in Al-Nassr's league history, per the league's official X handle.

However, Pitso Mosimane's Abha side faced disappointment over the weekend, further complicating the South African manager's mission to steer the team clear of relegation.

Sports Brief delves into the outcomes of matchday 21 in the Saudi League, highlighting the continued dominance of the top contenders and the ongoing struggles of teams battling relegation.

Recap of matchday 21 results

Matchday 21 kicked off on Friday, February 23, with a clash between relegation-threatened sides Al Riyadh and Al Raed at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium.

The game witnessed an African showdown in Riyadh, where Moroccan forward El Berkaoui opened the scoring for Al Raed. However, veteran Zimbabwean attacker Knowledge Musona salvaged a point for the home side with a late equaliser.

Moving to Jeddah, Al Taawoun swiftly gained a two-goal advantage against Al Akhdoud with quickfire strikes from Musa Barrow and Abdulfattah Adam.

Despite Saeed Al Rubaie pulling one back for Akhdoud in the second half, Mohammed Al Kuwaykibi sealed a 3-1 victory for Al Taawoun with his maiden goal.

In another fixture involving a Jeddah-based club, Al Ahli bounced back from conceding an early goal against Al Taee in a scintillating affair.

Ghanaian forward Bernard Mensah showcased his skill with a remarkable solo goal for Al Taee, but Matthias Jaissle's side turned the tide with a Roberto Firmino brace, complemented by goals from Riyad Mahrez and Franck Kessie, securing a convincing 4-1 win, as cited by Asia.Futbol.

Meanwhile, Pitso Mosimane's debut away game with Abha ended in disappointment as they fell 3-2 to Al Fayha.

Although Grzegorz Krychowiak put Abha ahead from the penalty spot, Al Fayha struck back with goals from Abdelhamid Sabiri and Fashion Sakala, securing victory despite Ahmed Abu's late consolation goal for the visitors, according to SNL24.

In the final match on Sunday, February 25, Al Shabab and Al-Nassr delivered a thrilling five-goal encounter in the Riyadh derby.

Cristiano Ronaldo converted a penalty to mark Al-Nassr's 800th goal in the Saudi Pro League, but Yannick Carrasco equalised for Al Shabab before halftime.

Anderson Talisca restored the lead for the Knights of Najd, only for Carlos Junior to level the score. However, the former Besiktas stalwart had the final say, securing a 3-2 victory for Luis Castro's side, who closed the gap on neighbours Al Hilal at the top of the table.

Looking ahead, league leaders Al-Hilal will face Steven Gerrard's rejuvenated Al Ettifaq on Monday, February 26, while Al Ittihad, led by Karim Benzema, seek to continue their unbeaten run since the resumption of the league as they host Al Wehda.

Saudi League standings

With Al-Hilal scheduled to play later on Monday, Al-Nassr capitalised fully by narrowing the gap between themselves and their rivals.

The difference in points between the two Riyadh giants now stands at a mere four points, with Al-Nassr accumulating 52 points, albeit having played one more game than the Blue Waves.

On the other hand, Al Ahli sits in a distant third place with 43 points, trailing second-placed Al-Nassr by nine points.

Meanwhile, Al Taawoun, enjoying a decent campaign so far, has garnered 38 points and occupies the fourth position, ahead of reigning champions Al Ittihad.

The Tigers hold the fifth spot with 34 points after 20 matches and aim to narrow the gap with fourth-placed Taawoun when they face off against Al Wehda on Monday.

Gerrard's newly revamped Al Ettifaq side currently sits in the eighth position with 28 points and faces the formidable challenge of encountering the unstoppable Al-Hilal side, who remain undefeated in the ongoing season after 20 matches.

Conversely, at the bottom of the table, the situation is becoming increasingly dire for Al Taee, Abha, and Al Hazem, all embroiled in the relegation battle.

Al Hazem has only managed to accumulate 14 points halfway through the season, while Abha, under Mosimane's management, has garnered just 15 points.

Despite boasting arguably the best attacker outside the top five teams in the league, Al Taee languishes in the 16th position with 18 points. The full league standings after matchday 21 are on Sports Brief.

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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