Cristiano Ronaldo red carded for elbowing opponent during Saudi Super Cup defeat

Cristiano Ronaldo was red carded for elbowing an opponent during Al-Nassr’s defeat against Al-Hilal in the Saudi Super Cup semifinal.

The incident occurred late in Monday’s game in Abu Dhabi when the Portuguese striker found himself in a tussle with Al-Hilal’s Ali Al-Bulayhi during second-half stoppage time.

He was shown a straight red card for thrusting his elbow at center back Al-Bulayhi’s chest and throat, then appeared to raise his fist towards the referee.

Sadio Mané did score for Al-Nassr following Ronaldo’s departure, but earlier goals from Salem Al-Dawsari and Malcom gave Al-Hilal a 2-1 victory.

It was Al-Hilal’s 33rd win in a row as the club continues its historic run under manager Jorge Jesus having achieved the record for the most consecutive wins in men’s soccer last month.

Otávio looked to have given Al-Hilal the lead at the end of the first half before his strike was ruled out for offside, and it took until the 61st minute for Al-Dawsari to make it 1-0.

Ronaldo remonstrates with the linesman. - Stringer/Reuters
Ronaldo remonstrates with the linesman. - Stringer/Reuters

Malcom, who had hit the post with a long-range effort minutes before, soon scored his side’s second later in the half with a header into the ground.

There was no way back for Al-Nassr from there, despite Mané’s consolation goal after Ronaldo’s red card.

It wasn’t the first time that the 39-year-old has had disciplinary issues since his move to Saudi Arabia. Earlier this year, he was suspended for one match and fined after making a thrusting gesture with his groin towards spectators during a Saudi Pro League (SPL) match.

The defeat on Monday means that Ronaldo and Al-Nassr are likely to end this season without a trophy. Also knocked out of the Asian Champions League, the team is 12 points behind Riyadh rival Al-Hilal in the SPL.

Al-Hilal will now face Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup final in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

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