Ronaldo’s Red: Al Nassr’s Saudi Super Cup Dreams Dashed in Abu Dhabi Clash

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In a heated clash in Abu Dhabi on Monday, Al Nassr’s hopes were dashed in the Saudi Super Cup semifinal against city rivals Al Hilal. Cristiano Ronaldo, the captain of Al Nassr, found himself at the center of controversy as he was sent off late in the game, exacerbating his team’s 2-1 defeat. The Portugal legend was shown a straight red card for elbowing an opponent, further marred by an ill-advised gesture toward the referee caught on video.

This setback only adds to Ronaldo’s frustration since his move to Saudi Arabia in 2023, leaving him without a trophy as Al Nassr is now out of contention in multiple competitions. The match saw Al Hilal’s dominance, with Jorge Jesus’ side displaying their prowess in the second half. Salem Al-Dawsari broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute with a clinical finish, capitalizing on a swift counter-attack orchestrated by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Brazilian forward Malcom extended Al Hilal’s lead in the 72nd minute with a well-executed header, courtesy of Michael’s precise cross. Despite a late consolation goal from former Liverpool star Sadio Mané in stoppage time, Al Nassr fell short, unable to mount a comeback against their formidable opponents. With Al Hilal securing their place in the final, they will aim for a record-extending fourth title showdown.

Their opponents will be Karim Benzema’s Al Ittihad, who booked their spot in the final with a 2-1 victory over Al Wehda earlier on Monday. As the stage is set for the final showdown, both teams will be eager to claim the coveted Saudi Super Cup title, setting the stage for what promises to be an enthralling clash on Thursday.