Ronaldo Leads Al Nassr Past Raja CA, Moves to Semis


Ronaldo Leads Al Nassr Past Raja CA, Moves to Semis

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Cristiano Ronaldo turned back the clock as he led Al-Nassr to a 3-1 victory over Raja Casablanca on Sunday, securing their spot in the semifinals of the King Salman Club Cup.

The 38-year-old star scored the opening goal for the Saudi Arabian team in an impressive manner, marking his third consecutive goal in the 16-team competition previously known as the Arab Club Champions Cup. This win also keeps alive the possibility of an intense final against their rivals, Al-Hilal from Riyadh.


— AlNassr FC (@AlNassrFC_EN) August 6, 2023

Al-Nassr showed their strength during the crucial period when they scored three goals within 20 minutes after Ronaldo’s remarkable strike in the 19th minute. Shortly after, Sultan Al-Ghannam scored the second goal, and Seko Fofana headed in the third, his first since joining from Lens earlier this summer.

Raja Casablanca managed to score an own goal through Abdullah Madu just before halftime, giving them hope. However, their efforts fell short as they couldn’t match Al-Nassr’s effectiveness in front of the goal.

This outcome was expected, considering the formidable lineup of Al-Nassr’s starting eleven. In addition to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Sadio Mane made his first appearance for the club after signing from Bayern Munich. The midfield featured Marcelo Brozkovic and Fofana.


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With local talents like Al-Ghannam, Abdullah Al-Khaibari, and Nawaf Al-Aqidi in goal, facing the North African defending champions was always going to be a challenging task.

Nonetheless, it was last season’s standout players who made the breakthrough in the 19th minute. Anderson Talisca caused trouble on the right side of the field and delivered the ball to Ronaldo, who skillfully shot from the edge of the box.

The second goal followed shortly, showcasing another impressive effort. Al-Ghannam seized a long pass from the defense, outmaneuvered the offside trap, and found the net from the right side of the field.

Six minutes later, the score was 3-0, and jubilant fans dressed in yellow were debating which goal was the best of the three. Ronaldo passed the ball to Alex Telles on the left, who then delivered an impeccable cross for Fofana to head home and extend the lead.

Raja Casablanca, three-time continental champions who had won all three of their group matches, were overwhelmed by Al-Nassr’s attacking prowess. However, they were given a lifeline when Madu accidentally put the ball into his own net while trying to clear a cross, just before halftime.

Raja began the second half energetically and dominated the first 15 minutes, shifting to a three-man defense and pushing forward. While they managed to keep Al-Nassr’s offensive threats at bay until Mane’s dribble in the 60th minute, they couldn’t secure the crucial second goal to narrow the gap.

Roger Aholou had a prime opportunity to score when he was one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but Al-Aqidi, who had a solid performance in goal, denied him. Ronaldo hit the post with a shot in the final minutes, but by then, the result was nearly settled, and celebrations were already underway.

Ultimately, the game’s outcome was determined by a 20-minute period in the first half, sparked by Ronaldo’s brilliant play. As the Portuguese star continues to regain his form and is surrounded by increasing talent, stopping Al-Nassr will prove to be a significant challenge.


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