Al Nassr vs Abha score, result, highlights, as Cristiano Ronaldo scores goal in late comeback win
Cristiano Ronaldo and Al Nassr mounted their latest comeback to keep their title hopes alive as they came from 1-0 down to beat Abha 2-1.
The victory moves them to within a single point of league leaders Al Ittihad with nine matches left to go in the season. Al Ittihad convincingly won their match earlier in the day by thumping Al Fateh 5-1 on a hat-trick by top scorer Abderrazak Hamdallah.
Al Nassr were shocked by a first-half Abha goal scored by Abdulfattah Adam, who happens to be an Al Nassr product on loan to Abha. The 28-year-old did well to rip a shot into the top corner, refusing to celebrate out of respect for Al Nassr and the club's fans.
Al Nassr struggled to mount a response with chaotic attacking sequences, and little flow in their movements. Their urgency increased after the break, but they needed a long-distance set-piece goal by Ronaldo and a penalty kick converted by Talisca to win.
MORE: Why Ronaldo was raging at the referee in their King Cup win
MORE: Al Nassr match schedule to end the 2022/23 season
Final: No real threat by Abha to Al Nassr's lead and Cristiano Ronaldo and his club are now just one point behind Al Ittihad for first place in the Saudi Pro League.
90th min.: There are 12 minutes of added time that have been given. What a turnaround by Al Nassr.
86th min.: Penalty Al Nassr! It's all coming crashing down for Abha. VAR makes the referee look at the hand ball by Abha's Adam (the Al Nassr loanee). And Talisca converts it. Al Nassr have turned this around!
80th min.: Red card to Abha! It's Al Sudani who gets the second yellow.
78th min.: Goal Al Nassr! It's Cristiano Ronaldo with a free-kick rocket from distance that goes through the wall and beats Abha's Cameroonian 'keeper. The goal came moments after Ronaldo missed connecting on a header at the doorstep.
76th min.: Chance Abha! It's Adam with the great move but he can't finish it.
69th min.: Chance Al Nassr! The ball rotates among the Al Nassr attackers before it ends at Cristiano Ronaldo in the box. But his footwork doesn't get him enough space and his shot is blocked by Natiq once more. He's been excellent today.
65th min.: SUB Al Nassr. Al-Khaibari is off and Ali Alhassan is on. That's a like-for-like swap.
60th min.: The Al Nassr attacking impetus is fizzling out in recent minutes.
53rd min.: Chance Al Nassr! The ball ends up at the feet of Ghareeb on the left side and his point-blank shot is saved by Abha goalkeeper Devis Epassy. The Cameroonian 'keeper should great reflexes. There's a bit more urgency in Al Nassr's play.
46th min.: Chance Al Nassr! Just seconds after kicking off the second half Talisca unleashes a flying scissors kick which bounces just wide of the left post. That was close from Al Nassr to start the half.
Halftime: It was a disappointing first half from Al Nassr and they didn't create nearly enough. Cristiano Ronaldo has been slow and there's generally little teamwork or combination in attack with Ghareeb, Ronaldo, and Talisca all trying to do things on their own. There's little chemistry for the men in yellow.
Meanwhile, Abha have shown solid teamwork. They're defending as a team — including the wingers — and they got a goal from the promising Fattah Adam, who refused to celebrate given he scored against his parent club. The Abha front four can cause issues in transition. In fact, it looks more likely that Abha go 2-0 up than Al Nassr equalise.
45th min.: Five minutes of stoppage time. It's been orderly defending by Abha. They're looking to take a lead into the lockers.
37th min.: Chance Al Nassr! It's Ghareeb who fires from distance and it's deflected for a corner. But the Al Nassr chances are not making the goalkeeper work so far.
33rd min.: Yellow to Al Nassr's Al-Khaibari. The defensive midfielder hacks down Abha centre-forward Felipe Caicedo who was on the break. A deserved caution, and Abha are showing they are dangerous on the break. Al Nassr are just not inspired in attack.
26th min.: Goal for Abha! It's Abdulfattah Adam, who's on loan from Al Nassr, to score it. He sends a shot into the upper 90 that can't be stopped.
18th min.: Ronaldo denied again! What another great play by Natiq with the sliding tackle in the box to stop Ronaldo who was 1-on-1 against the Abha goalkeeper.
14th min.: Excellent defensive play by Iraq international centre-back Natiq, who intercepts Cristiano Ronaldo in the Abha box. Clean, classing defensive intetrvention.
7th min.: Disallowed goal Abha! A set piece on goal is parried by Al Nassr's goalkeeper right at Abha centre-back Attouchi who bundles it home off the post.
But the VAR intervenes and Attouchi was offside when the free kick was taken. Goal erased. Good decision by the officials.
1st min.: We're off. Abha with early possession in their maroon away jerseys.
1 min from kickoff: The two captains take the photos at midfield. It's Cristiano Ronaldo and Abha left-back Al Zori.
2 mins from kickoff: Teams are out on the field and we're just about set to go.
30 mins from kickoff: Warmups underway at Mrsool Park in Riyadh.
60 mins from kickoff: It'll be Felipe Caicedo (Abha) attempting to outduel Cristiano Ronaldo (Al Nassr) in this league match.
120 mins from kickoff: Here's how it went down between these two teams just four days ago in their King Cup quarter final, which Al Nassr won comfortably:
More squad rotation from Rudi Garcia, who kept Talisca and Jaloliddin Masharipov on the bench and gave Luiz Gustavo a rest for the cup match. Two of the three start in a must-win game for Al Nassr, while captain Sami Al-Najei is out due to injury.
Abha head coach Roel Coumans set up in a 3-4-3 that was more of a 3-6-1 in the midweek match and star striker Felipe Caicedo wasn't even in the squad. That changes for this league match with Abha just six points above the relegation zone.
Local broadcasters in selected countries have acquired the rights to televise or stream the Saudi Pro League, while fans in other countries can subscribe to streaming platform Shahid for complete coverage.
According to LiveSoccerTV, the following networks are carrying Al Nassr's league matches:
*In the UK, Sky Sports have been showing most Saudi Pro League Al Nassr matches on their YouTube channel for free.