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Home » Al Nassr-Al Fateh Draw After Cristiano Ronaldo’s Penalty Secures Point

Al Nassr-Al Fateh Draw After Cristiano Ronaldo’s Penalty Secures Point

04 February 2023, Saturday
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goal in the Saudi Pro League at the death, rescuing a draw for Al Nassr at Al Fateh in stoppage time.

The game had seen Al Nassr fall behind twice, before Ronaldo had a few chances to level the scores. His effort from the spot in stoppage time proved to be the difference, though his teammate Anderson Talisca was sent off in the closing stages.

Cristian Tello made an impressive entrance to Al Fateh with a magnificent volley, a goal that was topped by teammate Sofian Bendebka before the 60th minute.
Talisca equalized with his 13th goal of the campaign at the interval, although his performance was spoiled by a red card after VAR review of a stamping tackle on Ronaldo shortly thereafter.

Ronaldo opened his Juve account with a sensational strike against Al Nassr in the eighth minute of his debut. After Tello capitalised on a mistake from Rossi in the opposition goal, the Brazilian drove a 25-yard effort into the net to give the Bianconeri the lead.

The Portuguese superstar had a golden opportunity to double their advantage in the 24th minute but was rightly flagged offside when he turned in Talisca's pass. Minutes later, he spurned an open goal after Talisca's shot was tipped against the post.

Just before the stroke of half-time, Ronaldo finally drew Al Nassr level with a first-time strike from Ghislain Konan's cross. However, his efforts to complete a dream debut were foiled when he crashed the ball against the crossbar in the dying moments.

Al Nassr started the second half attacking rapidly, however Bendebka provided a moment of brilliance when he seized a long ball to delicately smack it into the top of the goal. Al Fateh looked like they would hang on until the final whistle, yet the end of the match saw them collapse in disarray, particularly when Ali Salah Al-Jassem miscalculated and fouled substitute Jaloliddin Masharipov, resulting in Ronaldo scoring his first goal.

If it takes Ronaldo a while to get up to speed in Saudi Arabia, Talisca's impending ban could prove to be a major obstacle. The ex-Brazil Under-23 representative has been in superb form and helped Al Nassr get back into the game, showcasing the same skill he has used to register 13 goals for the season.

A glimpse of what Ronaldo and Talisca could offer as a duo had been displayed before the latter's suspension for his part in the heated ending of the match.

Georgios Donis, coach at Al Fateh, would have been pleased to watch the performance of Tello, the team's latest signing from LAFC, on his first game. The ex-Barcelona youngster was the strongest contrast to Ronaldo in the lineups and didn't disappoint, delivering an excellent performance.

The surprise of the day certainly came from unheralded Bendebka, though. He threatened to win the match with a spectacular free-kick just before the half-time mark. The Algerian has been capped nine times by his country and is playing in his fourth season at Al Fateh; he had only scored once in the twelve games he had prior to the one on Friday, when he astonished the crowd with his goal.
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