Al Nassr manager attaches blame to Cristiano Ronaldo for Saudi Super Cup loss after costly miss
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Al Nassr manager Rudi Garcia laid some of the blame on Cristiano Ronaldo after his side were beaten 3-1 by Al Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup semi-final.
Romarinho struck the opener 15 minutes into the contest at the King Fahd International Stadium before Moroccan striker Abderrazak Hamdallah doubled the lead just before half-time.
Anderson Talisca reduced the deficit in the 67th minute but Muhannad Al Shanqeeti sealed the win for Nuno Espirito Santo's side in stoppage time.
However, Ronaldo did have a huge chance to equalise moments before Hamdallah made it 2-0 to Al Ittihad.
The ball was fizzed into him from a cross and it looked like the five-time Ballon d'Or winner was going to open his account for Al Nassr.
However, he could only direct his header at goalkeeper Marcelo Grohe, who made a fine save.
Al Ittihad broke but their counter attack was sniffed out and the ball ended up with Ronaldo on the left. However, the 37-year-old lost possession and Hamdallah headed home the second from a Romarinho pick-out.
And after the match, Garcia brought up the Ronaldo chance as a turning point in the game.
Abderrazak Hamdallah doubles the advance for Al-Ittihad 𝗦𝗘𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗗𝗦 after Ronaldo almost scored his first goal in the Saudi football league 👏👏 pic.twitter.com/Qbehw5X9j6— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) January 26, 2023
"One of the things that changed the course of the match was Cristiano Ronaldo's missed opportunity in the first half," the former Roma and Lyon boss told reporters.
"I congratulate Al-Ittihad. They presented a much better first half than us, and we played a good second half, but unfortunately we were not able to adjust the result."
To rub salt in the wounds, Ronaldo was subjected to Lionel Messi chants by the opposition supporters.
After a brace for the Riyadh XI in the friendly against Paris Saint-Germain, Ronaldo is still searching for his first goal in his new colours after two blanks.
Al Nassr's next game is in the league against Al Fateh on Friday 3 February.