Cristiano Ronaldo urges Al Nassr to ‘keep believing’ as Saudi title race takes fresh twist
Cristiano Ronaldo says Al Nassr will “keep believing until the end” after he helped reignite the club’s Saudi Pro League title bid.
The Portuguese forward, signed in December, scored a penalty in his team’s 2-0 victory at Al Tai on Tuesday night as the second-placed side closed the gap on leaders Al Ittihad, who threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at Al Hilal.
The results mean Nassr sit three points behind Ittihad with three rounds remaining.
Posting on Instagram after breathing life back into Nassr’s hopes of a first Saudi title in four years, Ronaldo said: “Important win tonight, three more games ahead! We keep believing until the end!”
Ronaldo, 38, gave Nassr the lead against Al Tai not long into the second half, converting from the spot to take his tally for the club to 13 goals in 14 league matches.
Strike partner Anderson Talisca then settled the match 10 minutes from time to increase the pressure on Ittihad.
The Jeddah side, seeking a first top-flight crown in 14 years, raced to a 2-0 lead against Hilal in the “Saudi Clasico” in Riyadh, with former Sharjah playmaker Igor Coronado and Ahmed Bamsoud scoring in the first 30 minutes.
However, current champions Hilal halved the deficit just before half time when VAR confirmed – belatedly – that Musab Al Juwayr’s cross had in fact crossed the Ittihad goalline.
Then, in the 96th minute, VAR intervened again to rule that Michael’s rebound had crossed the line before defender Ahmed Hegazy cleared, leaving Ittihad to rue dropping two potentially pivotal points.
Nassr are next in action on May 23, when they host third-placed Al Shabab, while Al Ittihad entertain bottom club Al Batin in Jeddah.
Updated: May 17, 2023, 7:20 AM