Al Taawoun vs Al Nassr score, result, highlights as Cristiano Ronaldo signs off from 2023 with another goal

Al Nassr signed off from 2023 with another comprehensive Saudi Pro League win as Cristiano Ronaldo helped them to a 4-1 victory at Al Taawoun on December 30.

Trailing unbeaten league leaders Al Hilal by 10 points before this fixture, the visitors knew a victory could prove important in terms of sustaining their own title challenge.

In their final match before a mid-season break to accommodate the Asian Cup, Al Nassr found themselves a goal down in the first quarter of an hour, Aschraf El Mahdioui converting a rebound from his own missed penalty after a hugely debatable handball call went against Abdulelah Al-Amri.

MORE: The top scorers in men’s football in 2023

Al Taawoun vs Al Nassr final score

  2nd Half Goal scorers
ALT 1 El Mahdioui (13′)
ALN 4 Brozovic (’27), Laporte (35′), Otavio (50′), Ronaldo (90+2′)

Lineups:

Al Taawoun (4-3-3): Maylson (GK) — Al-Oyayari, Girotto, Al Slaluli, Faqeehi — Flavio, El Mahdiouii, Medran — Barrow, Pedro, Mateus.

Al Nassr (4-2-3-1): Alaqidi (GK) — Al Ghanam, Laporte, Alamri, Telles — Brozovic, Alkhaibari —  Talisca, Otavio, Mane — Ronaldo.

Al Taawoun won the reverse fixture 2-0 back in August, but, in truth, they rarely looked like extending their lead here before Marcelo Brozovic equalised at the end of an excellent passing move involving Ronaldo and Anderson Talisca.

Defender Aymeric Laporte’s thumping header put the away side ahead before halftime, and their lead was extended early in the second period, Otavio slotting home from close ranger after a defensive error from Al Taawoun’s goalscorer.

Al Nassr eased through the closing stages, although goalkeeper Nawaf Alaqidi had to make a few good saves before Ronaldo added gloss to the scoreline with a typical header in second-half stoppage time.

Ronaldo ends 2023 as the leading goalscorer in men’s major leagues and will now hope 2024 can yield some silverware.

Al Taawoun vs Al Nassr highlights

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwrUDjdN3uY

Al Taawoun vs Al Nassr updates, and commentary

90 + 2 mins: GOAL! Ronaldo gets on the scoresheet at the death! Seko Fofana cuts back on his right foot and crosses towards the edge of the six-yard box, where Ronaldo rises highest to nod the ball into the net. It’s the kind of headed finish we’ve seen so many times from him.

90 mins: We’re heading into seven minutes of added time. This game is very much winding down.

82 mins: Mateus with the chance! Alaqidi makes another good low save to deny the Al Taawoun forward. The home side are threatening a goal, but can they do enough to get back into this?

78 mins: Al Nassr seem content to play on the counter-attack now. They’re holding firm at the moment with relative ease.

72 mins: Ronaldo off the post! Teed up by Alex Telles, the Portuguese blasts a shot goalwards with his left foot and it cannons back off the woodwork so hard the ball lands nearly 30 yards away!

70 mins: Good throughball from Barrow, but Alaqidi is off his line quickly to smother the attempt from Mateus. The offside flag then goes up.

64 mins: Al Nassr are looking comfortable now they have a two-goal cushion. Al Taawoun seem to have lost some of their earlier fight.

55 mins: Ronaldo is put through on goal, he rounds the keeper… and fires wide! It looks like the goal would have been disallowed for offside, anyway.

50 mins: GOAL! Al Nassr get a two-goal lead and it’s Otavio who gets it! It’s an awful goal for Al Taawoun to concede: El Mahdioui intercepts Brozovic’s cut-back but passes it straight to Otavio, who converts a low finish from the edge of the six-yard box.

Second half

We’re off and running again.

Halftime: Al Taawoun 1-2 Al Nassr

Al Nassr lead at the break thanks to Brozovic and Laporte.

45 + 3 mins: Good save from Alaqidi! Joao Pedro’s low shot is heading towards the bottom-left corner, but Al Nassr’s keeper gets a strong hand to the ball.

44 mins: Otavio crosses from the right towards Ronaldo, but he can’t quite get clean contact on a header under pressure. We’re easing towards halftime here.

40 mins: Big chance for 3-1! Mane gets to the byline and hangs up a cross towards the centre-circle. Otavio meets it but can’t keep his header down.

35 mins: GOAL! Al Nassr take the lead! Aymeric Laporte directs a firm header back across goal and into the right-hand corner of the net. Excellent finish.

34 mins: Off the bar! Al Amri’s glancing header from a corner comes back off the woodwork and is scrambled behind for another corner.

31 mins: Ronaldo exchanges passes with Brozovic, tries a few stepovers and shoots from a tight angle, but it’s comfortably wide.

27 mins: GOAL! Out of nothing, Al Nassr are level! It’s an exquisite goal: Anderson Talisca feeds the ball to Ronaldo, he lays it back, and Talisca plays an inch-perfect first-time pass to find the run of Marcelo Brozovic, who finishes powerfully with his right foot. Outstanding football.

20 mins: Al Nassr have not exactly threatened an equaliser yet. Ronaldo has barely had a kick and Sadio Mane is cutting an isolated figure on the left of the attack.

13 mins: GOAL! Aschraf El Mahdioui’s penalty wasn’t great, but the save from Nawaf Alaqidi comes straight back to the captain, who tucks home the rebound.

11 mins: PENALTY! Al Taawoun are given a spot-kick for a handball following a VAR review. Abdulelah Al-Amri jumped for a ball hooked back into the area by Musa Barrow, and the ball glanced off his hand as he landed. Ronaldo is booked for protesting against the decision — Al Nassr are furious, and you can understand why. That was a strange decision.

5 mins: It’s a quiet opening here. Al Nassr are controlling possession but to little effect.

Kickoff

We’re underway for Cristiano Ronaldo’s last match of 2023!

20 mins prior to kickoff: The hosts have made one change to the side who began their 3-1 defeat to Al Fateh last time out.

Saudi defender Fahad Khalid Al Abdulrazzaq makes way, with 21-year-old compatriot Muath Faqeehi – on loan from league leaders Al Hilal – starting at leftback.

40 mins prior to kickoff: Al Taawoun start like this as the visitors seek to finish their calendar year with a fourth win of the month…

(4-3-3): Maylson (GK) — Al-Oyayari, Girotto, Al Slaluli, Faqeehi — Flavio, El Mahdiouii, Medran — Barrow, Pedro, Mateus.

1 hour prior to kickoff: Team news! Cristiano Ronaldo, as expected, captains Al Nassr in front of their menacing attacking line of Talisca, Otavio and Sadio Mane.

1 hour 20 mins prior to kickoff: Inside the visitors’ dressing room.

1 hour 40 mins prior to kickoff: Ronaldo, barring something completely implausible in another match somewhere, will end 2023 as the leading goalscorer in men’s most recognised leagues across the world. He has been prolific for Al Nassr, although the title race will be out of their hands for as long as Al Hilal continue to enjoy unbeaten form at the top of the table.

2 hours prior to kickoff: Cristiano Ronaldo and company had something of a rainy journey to Al Qassim for this, their final match of 2023.

Al Taawoun vs Al Nassr lineups, team news

Al Taawoun lost 3-1 at home to Al Fateh in their last Saudi Pro League match and the hosts made one change, replacing Fahad Khalid Al Abdulrazzaq with Muath Faqeehi in defence.

Al Taawoun starting lineup (4-3-3): Maylson (GK) — Al-Oyayari, Girotto, Al Slaluli, Faqeehi — Flavio, El Mahdiouii, Medran — Barrow, Pedro, Mateus.

Al Taawoun subs: Al-Ghamdi, Al Roqi, Al Abdulrazzaq, Al Fiqi, Al-Ahmed, Al Ohaymid, Bahusayn, Ali Madani, Ahmed Mohamed.

Ronaldo scored twice as Al Nassr cruised to a 5-2 win at Al Ittihad in their last outing, and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner captained his side again for their final match of 2023.

Al Nassr starting lineup (4-2-3-1): Alaqidi (GK) — Al Ghanam, Laporte, Alamri, Telles — Brozovic, Alkhaibari —  Talisca, Otavio, Mane — Ronaldo.

Al Nassr subs: Al-Fatil, Fofana, Al-Sulaiheem, Al-Najei, Maran, Qassem, Ghareeb, Al-Najjar, Lajami.

MORE: How many goals has Cristiano Ronaldo scored at Al Nassr this season?

Al Taawoun vs Al Nassr live stream, TV channel

  TV channel Streaming
USA Fox Sports Soccer Plus, Fox Deportes Fubo, Fox Sports app/website
Australia  — 10 Play
Canada  — DAZN
UK  — DAZN
India  — Shahid

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