Al Hilal continues to shine as Al Nassr drenches Abha with eight goals

April 03, 2024

Saudi Gazette report

Al Hilal's journey towards clinching the Saudi Professional League title continued as they defeated Al Okhdood with a convincing three-goal victory in the 26th round. The win helped the Riyadh-based team maintain a 12-point lead over their closest rivals and traditional adversaries, Al Nassr, who sits in second place.

Al Hilal is now just four matches away from securing the title, needing only 12 more points to officially claim victory, assuming Al Nassr wins all its remaining games. Any slip-up from Al Nassr could see Al Hilal clinch the title even sooner.

Al Hilal's manager, Jorge Jesus, made strategic player adjustments, bringing in striker Saleh Al Shehri to replace Serbian player Mitrovic, who started his extended absence from the team due to an injury sustained in a previous match against Al Shabab.

Al Hilal faced little resistance from Al Okhdood, who adopted a defensive stance throughout the game. Nevertheless, Al Hilal broke through the defense with Saleh Al Shehri scoring in the 16th minute, followed by goals from Malcom in the 66th minute and Salem Al Dawsri in the 73rd minute.

This loss left Al Okhdood with 24 points, dropping them to the 16th position in the league standings and into one of the three direct relegation spots.

Meanwhile, in Abha, Al Nassr unleashed an eight-goal barrage against their hosts, with Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo leading the charge by netting a hat-trick. This performance not only secured a win for Al Nassr but also propelled Ronaldo to the top of the league's scoring chart with 29 goals after his second consecutive hat-trick.

Al Nassr's dominance was clear from the first half, which concluded with a five-goal lead, thanks to Ronaldo's efforts in the 11th and 21st minutes, Sadio Mane's goal in the 33rd minute, Ronaldo's completion of his hat-trick in the 44th minute, and Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem's contribution in the 45th minute.

In the second half, despite resting Ronaldo and Mane, Al Nassr continued their scoring spree with goals from Abdulrahman Ghareeb in the 51st minute, Abdulaziz Al Elewa in the 63rd and 87th minutes, securing an 8-0 victory.

This defeat leaves Abha in a precarious position in their battle to avoid relegation, with the team now sitting in the penultimate spot in the league standings with 22 points.

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