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Ronaldo nets first goal for Al Nassr to snatch 2-2 draw

Sports Desk |
Update: 2023-02-04 12:11:58
Ronaldo nets first goal for Al Nassr to snatch 2-2 draw [photo collected]

Cristiano Ronaldo left it late to score his first goal for Al-Nassr, but finally got off the mark with his penalty in added-on time earning his new side a 2-2 draw vs Al-Fateh

Al-Nassr fans are piling the pressure on manager Rudi Garcia after they failed to win for the second time in succession.

The Frenchman was appointed as head coach of the Saudi giants in June of last year and is still in his first season in charge. He has guided Al-Nassr to the top of the Pro League, but fans understandably expected a stark improvement in performance in recent weeks.

That was due to the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, who stunned the footballing world by leaving Europe after his Manchester United exit was confirmed. The 37-year-old was expected to dominate what is a significantly weaker league than he has previously played in.

However, under Garcia, Ronaldo failed to score in his opening two appearances, with his second coming in their Saudi State Cup exit to Al-Ittihad last week. Following that defeat, Garcia levelled some criticism at the Portuguese superstar and said there were issues that needed to be ironed out.

"One of the things that changed the course of the match was Cristiano's missed opportunity in the first half," the boss assessed after the game.

He added: “It is very important that the players play normally and don't always try to give Cristiano the ball. I told them they had to make the right decisions on the pitch. Obviously, when Cristiano or Anderson Talisca are alone and ask for the ball, we have to give them the ball. These two players are capable of making a difference.

But despite Garcia’s frank assessment, Al-Nassr struggled again against Al-Fateh on Friday night, falling behind twice in the 2-2 draw. Ronaldo looked set to endure another frustrating afternoon, after having a goal disallowed, missing another gilt-edged chance and hitting the crossbar.

But with the game into added-on time, he was given a golden opportunity to open his account when Al-Nassr were awarded a penalty. Anderson Talisca, who scored and was later sent off, held the ball and appeared to be ready to take the spot-kick, before Ronaldo took over responsibilities.

And he coolly took his chance to score his first competitive goal for the club, posting on social media after the full-time whistle: “Happy to have scored my first goal in the Saudi league and great effort by whole team to achieve an important draw in a very difficult match!”

Source: Mirror

BDST: 1211 HRS, FEB 04, 2023

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