Investing heavily in talent didn’t save Al Nassr from their early season jitters, as they suffered a 2-0 defeat against Al Taawoun. The presence of football stalwarts like Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Anderson Talisca, and Marcelo Brozovic was insufficient to tip the balance in their favor.
Leandre Tawamba, Al Taawoun’s dynamic striker, began the goal tally with a 20th-minute header. Despite possessing heavyweights in attack, Al Nassr found it challenging to navigate through the organized defense put up by Al Taawoun. The match’s outcome was sealed when Ahmed Bahusayn notched the second goal during extra time.
The initial loss Al Nassr endured against Al Ettifaq was seen as an outcome of resting their primary players post their victory at the Arab Club Champions Cup. But their much-anticipated comeback was foiled by Al Taawoun’s tactical mastery. The visitors utilized a defense-centric strategy, amplified by rapid counter-offensives initiated by their Brazilian ace, Mateus.
In the face of 24 attempted shots by Al Nassr, they could only accurately direct five, in contrast to Al Taawoun’s sharper six on-target efforts. The match witnessed Talisca’s header misses, a negated goal from Mane, and Ronaldo’s strike that unfortunately rebounded off the post.
Finishing a close second in the previous Saudi championship, Al Nassr’s current form might see them lagging by six points early this season.
- Al Nassr: 0
- Al Taawoun: 2 (Tawamba 20′, Bahusayn 96′)
- Post-match, Ronaldo’s dissatisfaction with refereeing decisions became evident.
- Attempts by Brozovic and Ronaldo were unsuccessful in changing the game dynamics.
- Al Taawoun’s goalie, Mailson, emerged as a significant barrier for Al Nassr.
- A contentious yellow card was shown to Talisca, following a questionable dive.
- Despite Ronaldo’s spirited efforts, Al Taawoun’s defense remained unyielding.
- With a halftime score of 0-1, Al Nassr’s energy seemed drained and devoid of cohesive strategy.
- A potential penalty in Al Nassr’s favor was dismissed upon video review.
- Mid-match, Al Nassr adopted new tactics, but the opponent’s defense was impenetrable.
- Mateus’s flawless corner set up Tawamba for a pivotal goal for Al Taawoun.
- Both teams took to the field with Al Nassr donning yellow and blue, and Al Taawoun in their characteristic black.