After a shocking 2-0 home loss to Al Taawoun on Friday, Al Nassr has gotten off to a rough start in the Saudi Pro League.
Star players Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane, Anderson Talisca, and Marcelo Brozovic were all kept without a goal.
Leandre Tawamba, a Cameroonian striker, headed a wide-open corner kick in the 20th minute to get the visitors going. Al Taawoun’s five-man defence and sure-handed custodian then thwarted Ronaldo and Al Nassr all night long before substitute Ahmed Bahusayn sealed the victory in stoppage time.
Many of Al Nassr’s key players were rested after winning the Arab Club Champions Cup 48 hours earlier, which is said to have contributed to their 2-1 loss to Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq on the opening weekend. They were all back on the pitch, but Al Taawoun still defeated them thanks to their flawless game plan of defending in numbers and counterattacking through Mateus, a quick Brazilian winger.
Although Al Nassr outshot Al Taawoun 24-8, they only managed to get five of those shots on target as opposed to the visitors’ six.
Anderson Talisca missed on a couple of headers in the box, Sadio Mane had a goal disallowed, there was a late goal-line clearance, Cristiano Ronaldo slammed a ball against the post from an offside position, and Marcelo Brozovic fired right at the ‘keeper on a frustrating night for the home team.
Al Nassr finished in second place, coming up five points short in their quest for the Saudi title in 2022/23 and now could find themselves six points behind the leaders by the time Matchday 2 is complete