Saturday, 18 May, 2024


Ronaldo nets 2nd-half hat trick in Al Nassr win

Sports Desk |
Update: 2024-03-31 11:29:36
Ronaldo nets 2nd-half hat trick in Al Nassr win

Stats are deceptive! Al Nassr had 312 passes, 76 per cent possession, eight shots and two goals at the end of the first half. 

And yet, for all their big names Al Nassr were mostly underwhelming against a relegation-threatened Al-Tai in the opening 45 minutes.

Otavio couldn't believe his luck after he scored the opening goal. His attempted cross bounced into the net unhindered as the goalkeeper was engrossed in watching Marcelo Brozovic being pulled down by his central defender. It should have been a routine take for Moataz Al-Baqaawi and yet he made a mess of it. 

Within a minute, the visitors got back on level terms as Virgil Misidjan found the right top corner after his silky skills left Brozovic reeling on the ground. But his game was quickly over after the referee handing him his marching orders with a second yellow for hitting David Ospina on the face while vying for the ball. Al Nassr were once again on the front foot against a 10-man Al-Tai and deservedly took the lead through Abdulrahman Ghareeb after the winger headed home from a Sadio Mane cross.

Ronaldo finally joined the party after the hour mark. He looked ordinary in the opening hour but two moments of individual brilliance saw him get on the scoresheet twice within a span of three minutes. The first one was a typical Roanldo-esque one-touch finish after being set up by Mane, while the second stemmed from his knack for being at the right place at the right time after Al-Tai defenders failed to clear their lines. 

The two goals shattered Al-Tai's resolve to stage a comeback and in the final quarter they were playing mostly for scraps. 

The final nail in the coffin was hit in the 87th minute when Ronaldo completed his hat trick with a thumping header at the far post.

Ronaldo stole the spotlight with his two goals within three minutes. However, the Portuguese talisman was an anonymous figure for the entire first half and barring the two goals he hardly made any significant contribution. 

But those two moments of sheer individual brilliance tilted the tie completely in Al-Nassr's favour as Al-Tai looked crestfallen in the final 20 minutes.

Source: GOAL

BDST: 1129 HRS, MAR 31, 2024

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