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Saudi Pro League 2023-24: Al Nassr settles for 1-1 draw with Al Hilal after Ronaldo misfires

Al Hilal kept its unbeaten streak in the Saudi Pro League 2023-24 alive after Aleksandar Mitrovic converted a penalty to make it 1-1 in the dying moments of its match against Al Nassr at the Al-Awwal Stadium on Friday.

Al Nassr took the lead in the first minute after Cristiano Ronaldo set up Otavio at the edge of the penalty area. Otavio smashed the ball into the top right corner past a helpless Yassine Bounou to give his side the lead 25 seconds into the match.

That was the brightest moment of the match for Ronaldo who was looking to equal Moroccan Abderrazak Hamdallah’s record for the most goals scored by a player in a single season (34) in the SPL.

The 39-year-old Portuguese talisman missed three easy chances to extend Al Nassr’s lead in the first half, which ended up haunting his side in the end.

Al Hilal found its usual form in the second half but could not convert the chances. Goalkeeper Bounou kept his side in the tie, making a couple of fantastic saves in the closing stages of the match.

AS IT HAPPENED | Al Nassr vs Al Hilal Highlights, Saudi Pro League 2023-24

With the clock running out, Al Hilal finally got its opportunity to equalise when it was awarded a penalty after Sadio Mane caught Saud Abdulhamid in the face on the right side of the penalty box, five minutes into injury time.

After a long VAR check, the referee pointed to the spot and Mitrovic made no mistake in dispatching the ball into the goal, extending his side’s unbeaten run in the league to 32 games.

The two sides will meet again in the King Cup of Champions final at the end of the month, where Ronaldo and Co. will look to stop their city rival from attaining the domestic treble after it secured the SPL and Saudi Super Cup.

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