Cristiano Ronaldo was overcome with emotion as he departed the field in tears following Al-Nassr‘s defeat to Al-Hilal in the King’s Cup final in Saudi Arabia, marking another season without major silverware for his team.
In a tense showdown in Jeddah that concluded 1-1 after extra time, Al-Hilal clinched victory in a penalty shootout, prevailing 5-4.Ronaldo, who joined Al-Nassr in December 2022, was visibly distraught, collapsing to the ground before being comforted by his teammates at King Abdullah Sports City.

The disappointment came after the conclusion of the Saudi Pro League four days ago, where Al-Nassr finished second, trailing Al-Hilal by 14 points. Ronaldo’s individual achievement of setting a new league record with 35 goals provided some solace, but it was not enough to offset the team’s longing for the championship.
The final match was marked by intensity, witnessing two goals and three red cards. Al-Hilal took an early lead with Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header after just seven minutes. Al-Nassr suffered a setback in the second half when goalkeeper David Ospina was ejected for handling the ball outside the area.

The drama escalated when Ali Al-Bulaihi of Al-Hilal was also sent off for a headbutt on Sami Al-Najei. Al-Nassr seized the opportunity, equalizing with Ayman Yahya’s header moments later.
As tensions soared, Al-Hilal’s Kalidou Koulibaly received his second yellow card, reducing his team to ten men. After the stalemate in extra time, the fate of the match was decided by a penalty shootout.

Although both teams missed their initial attempts, Ronaldo converted his penalty. However, Al-Hilal emerged victorious as Bounou saved crucial penalties from Ali Al-Hassan and Al-Nemer, securing their 11th King’s Cup title.
For Ronaldo and his team, the wait for silverware continues into the next season.

(With AP inputs)

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