Cristiano Ronaldo and Al Nassr knocked out of King Cup semi-finals

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Another chance at winning silverware ebbed away from Cristiano as 10-man Al Nassr were beaten 0-1 by Al Wehda in Monday’s King Cup semi-final at KSU stadium.

Cristiano’s hopes of adding to an already enviable list of honours with Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia were shattered on Monday as his team bowed out of the King Cup, losing by the minimum at home to Al Wehda. The visitors, who last lifted the trophy in 1966, secured their place in the final thanks to an acrobatic finish from French striker Jean-David Beauguel midway through the first half. Al Wehda were later forced to play almost the entire second half with a man less after centre-back Abdullah Al-Hafith was sent back to the dressing room for a challenge on Cristiano – his second bookable offence.

Not that the numerical advantage was of much help to Al Nassr, who only a couple of months ago had thrashed the same opponents 0-4, with Cristiano providing all of the goals. In fact, Al Nassr have beaten Al Wehda home and away in the Pro League this season – but it is José Luis Sierra’s side who will advance to the final, where Al-Hilal await.

Chances spurned
The only goal of the game came on 23 minutes from a corner. Al Nassr failed to clear a high ball inside the box and Beauguel with his back to goal, was left free to send an overhead-kick past Nawaf Al-Aqidi. Cristiano had earlier seen an effort saved at the back post by Munir Mohamedi – one of his team’s best chances of the game. It didn’t get any easier after the break. Al Wehda steadfastly defended their lead and attempts on goal were few and far between. José Luis Sierra rejigged his team, taking off the goal scorer and putting an extra man in defence which further frustrated Al Nassr. Even VAR went against them, with the ref signalling play on after three penalty appeals were reviewed. Their best effort came in the dying minutes when Cristiano swiped at a loose ball only to see it skim the top of the crossbar

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It’s another sad chapter in what has been a season to forget for the Portuguese forward. After leaving Manchester United under a cloud in November, he had hoped for an upturn in his fortunes in Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr. But the team were eliminated from the Super Cup back in January, are out of the King Cup and trail Al-Ittihad by three points in the Pro League having played a game more. The team is currently without a coach after Rudi García left “by mutual agreement” a fortnight ago. Dinko Jelicic has taken charge in a caretaker capacity until a permanent coach is found.

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