Cristiano Ronaldo scored his seventh goal in the Saudi Pro League as his side, Al Nassr, beat Al Raed 3-1 in a league game at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Buraydah on Saturday.
Al Nassr, coming into the game with a four-game winning run, initially looked on the backfoot with the hosts, coached by former Shakhtar Donetsk boss, Igor Jovicevic, controlling the game with a 4-4-2 shape and zonal marking.
Ronaldo’s side tried to attack through long balls but Al Raed’s compact defence kept the visitors at bay.
Finally, the breakthrough arrived at the brink of half-time, when Sadio Mane, pounced on a loose ball to find the left-bottom corner with a bullet of a hit from the edge of the penalty box.
Seconds later, a foul on him saw Bander Whaeshi get marching orders as the hosts were reduced to 10 men before the half-time whistle.
The second half saw Al Nassr exploit the numerical advantage, with Anderson Talisca – who had scored a hat-trick against the same team in December last year – coming on as a substitute. He made an instant impact, scoring a screamer from outside the box, four minutes after the break.
He continues to pull strings in attack and 30 minutes later, he set up Ronaldo in the box, who nutmegged his marker and rattles the net with his hit.
The win took the visitors up to fifth in the league, with Al Raeed down at 15th. Ronaldo will now start his AFC Champions League 2023-24 campaign, with the team playing Iranian side, Persepolis on September 19.