Talisca’s Hat Trick, Mane’s Penalty Not Enough As Ronaldo Less Al Nassr Drop Points vs Bottom Club

Talisca’s Hat Trick, Mane’s Penalty Not Enough As Ronaldo Less Al Nassr Drop Points vs Bottom Club

Godwin Nii Armah Tagoe
February 29, 2024 at 7:30 PM
  • A Ronaldo-less Al-Nassr side dropped points in their title hunt
  • The Knights of Najd split points with bottom club Al Hazem at home
  • Table toppers Al-Hilal could go 9 points clear ahead of Al-Nassr

Al-Nassr endured a rollercoaster encounter in the Saudi Pro League, sharing the points with Al Hazem in an electrifying eight-goal spectacle.

The Brazilian striker delivered a remarkable hat-trick, while Mane added another goal, as the Knights of Najd found themselves surrendering the lead four times, ultimately settling for a thrilling 4-4 draw with the league's bottom-placed club at the KSU Stadium in Riyadh on Thursday, February 29.

Al-Nassr, Al Hazem, draw, Saudi Pro League, Cristiano Ronaldo, Anderson Talisca
Players of Al-Nassr celebrated Anderson Talisca's first goal against Al Hazem. Photo by Yasser Bakhsh.
Source: Getty Images

Ronaldo-less Al-Nassr drop points

Entering matchday 22 without their top scorer and talisman, Ronaldo, due to suspension, Al-Nassr noticeably felt the absence of their captain's goal-scoring prowess despite dominating possession.

After managing only two shots on target in the opening exchanges, the Riyadh-based giants broke the deadlock just after the half-hour mark with a well-taken penalty by Talisca, much to the delight of Cristiano, who watched from the VIP stands, per Sportstar.

Unlike their previous encounter against Al Shabab, Luis Castro's team held onto their narrow lead until halftime.

Regardless, their advantage was short-lived, as ten minutes into the second half, Ahmad Al Mhemaid equalised for the visitors, momentarily stunning the home side, who had earlier seen a goal disallowed.

Nevertheless, substitute Ayman Yahya combined with Talisca to restore the lead for the home side with a close-range finish, igniting a barrage of attacks in search of further goals.

Unfortunately, their lead was short-lived once again, as veteran Portuguese midfielder Toze levelled the score for the visitors, setting the stage for a tense finale.

But Talisca had other plans, connecting with a cross from Alex Telles to put Al-Nassr ahead for the third time in the 72nd minute.

However, with just five minutes remaining, Al Hazem found an equaliser through Comoros midfielder Faiz Selemani, seemingly salvaging a draw.

Yet, Mane, the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich winger, delivered in stoppage time, converting a penalty to seemingly secure a dramatic victory for Al-Nassr.

Nonetheless, in a twist of fate, Paulo Ricardo netted in the 10th minute of stoppage time to break Al-Nassr fans' hearts and level the score once more, as cited by Daily Sports.

Emotional Ronaldo reacts to Al-Nassr fan love

Sports Brief also reported that Al-Nassr fans stayed true to their promise to pay tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo during their Saudi Pro League clash with Al Hazem at the KSU Stadium on Thursday, February 29.

As the 7th minute approached in the match, supporters erupted into chants of 'Siuu' followed by Ronaldo's name, showcasing their adoration for their star player.

In a touching moment, CR7 reciprocated the sentiment with a gracious wave, clearly touched by the fans' display of support from the VIP section of the stadium.

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.