Cristiano Ronaldo’s Al-Nassr secured a 3-1 victory against Abha in the King’s Cup, but it was not a great night for the Portuguese forward. Ronaldo failed to score, received a yellow card, and was substituted for the first time since his move to Saudi Arabia. He has yet to open his account at the Al-Nassr stadium, having failed to score in his last three games.
Ronaldo had contributed to 10 consecutive goals for Al-Nassr, scoring eight with two assists, before going empty-handed in the last two league games. In Tuesday’s quarter-final, Al-Nassr was leading 2-0 when Ronaldo had the opportunity to launch a counter-attack, but Latvian referee Andris Treimanis ended the first half. Ronaldo, in anger, grabbed the ball and hit it away, resulting in a yellow card from the referee.
In the second half, Al-Nassr scored a third goal before Ronaldo was replaced in the 87th minute by Anderson Talisca, the league’s top scorer who was returning from injury. Last Thursday, after a 1-0 defeat to rivals Al-Ittihad, Ronaldo kicked away water bottles before going up the tunnel.
“Ronaldo’s presence gives the opposing teams an incentive to play the game of their lives against him,” Al-Nassr coach Rudi Garcia said after the game, as local media quoted. Although Ronaldo’s famous celebration was not seen at Al-Nassr Stadium, Al-Hilal’s Michael Delgado imitated it in another King’s Cup game, with his team winning 3-1 against Al-Fateh.