Ronaldo fails to score on debut as Al Nassr beat Al Ettifaq

football22 January 2023 19:49| © Reuters
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Cristiano Ronaldo © Getty Images

Anderson Talisca earned Al Nassr a 1-0 home win over Al Ettifaq on Sunday, but the fans that turned up to Mrsool Park in droves to see Cristiano Ronaldo in action were left disappointed after he was unable to mark his Saudi Pro league debut with a goal.

Expectations for Ronaldo's debut were sky-high after his brace against Paris St Germain on Thursday, but despite showcasing plenty of endeavour against Al Ettifaq, the 37-year-old was unable to add to his tally of more than 800 senior goals overall for club and country.

Named the captain ahead of the match, Ronaldo was full of running and had a couple of bright moments, but mostly cut a lonely figure up front as his new teammates appeared to be on a different wavelength and rarely picked him out.

Brazilian forward Talisca put Al Nassr ahead in the 31st minute, when he rose to meet Abdulmajeed Al-Sulaiheem's cross and plant a header past Al Ettifaq goalkeeper Paulo Victor.

Victor was kept on his toes, as Pity Martinez, Al-Sulaiheem and Talisca forced him into saves with well-struck efforts from long range in the second half, but Al Nassr were unable to find another goal.

Al Nassr's win moved them back into first place in the league standings on 33 points from 14 matches, after they were briefly overtaken by Al Hilal earlier on Sunday. Al Ettifaq are in 10th place.