Domestic Leagues

Al Ahli score dramatic win as Saudi Pro League sees exciting restart

Riyadh: There were goals aplenty as the Saudi Pro League (SPL) resumed on Tuesday, most notably with Al Ahli Saudi FC securing a 4-2 win over Al Hazem.

It has been five months since the SPL was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it returned with spectacular football action as it saw five winners from the five matches played.

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Al Ahli surged to a 4-2 win in dramatic fashion. The Jeddah-based club took a third minute lead through Abdulrahman Ghareeb, before Omar Al Soma doubled their advantage at the 50th minute mark. A determined Al Hazem equalised through goals from Swedish forward Carlos Strandberg and Jonathan Cafu in the 65th and 68th minutes respectively.

Substitute Haitham Asiri struck four minutes before time to put Al Ahli back in the lead, and Yousef Al Harbi ensured victory two minutes later.

Al Fateh earned three valuable points after beating Al Fahya 2-0, courtesy of goals from Marwane Saadane, who converted a spot-kick in the 16th minute, and Sofiane Bendebka on 75 minutes. Although they remain at risk of relegation, Al Fateh are only a point behind 13th-placed Al Ittihad.

Damac FC, currently in the bottom three of the standings, suffered a 3-0 loss to Al Raed. Colombian forward Marco Perez opened the scoring in the eighth minute, before Ahmed Zain doubled their advantage heading into the break. Mohamed Fouzair sealed the win with his effort in the 80th minute to place Al Raed in contention for a top five finish.

Abha Club came back from a goal down to beat Al Ittihad 2-1 and record their third consecutive win. Al Ittihad broke the deadlock in the 20th minute through Romarinho's effort, but Mehdi Tahrat equalised for Abha just four minutes after the break, before Ammar Al Najar bagged the victory with his penalty kick.

Al Faisaly rose to the top five with their 2-1 win over Al Taawoun. Cedric Amissi's equaliser was not enough to keep Al Taawoun afloat in the tie at the Al Majma'ah Sports City Stadium, as goals by Ahmed Ashraf and Guilherme in either half saw Al Faisaly claim all three points.

AFC Champions League titleholders Al Hilal SFC take to the stage on Wednesday in an exciting Riyadh derby with Al Nassr, where a win for Razvan Lucescu's charges would further solidify their place at the top the league.

Last-placed Al Adalah will be fighting to keep their campaign alive as they play Ettifaq, while Al Wehda will hope to widen the gap between them and Al Faisaly in the match against Al Shabab.

Photo: Al Ahli Saudi FC

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