Cristiano Ronaldo praises Al Nassr heart after last-gasp fight-back reclaims league summit

Riyadh side scored three times deep into injury-time to secure 3-1 victory against bottom club Al Batin

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Cristiano Ronaldo reminded Al Nassr of the virtues of “always believing until the end” after his side secured a dramatic victory deep into injury-time on Friday night to move back top of the Saudi Pro League.

The Riyadh club were 1-0 down against bottom side Al Batin at Mrsool Park, but struck three times in the additional period to turn around the match and jump back to the standings summit, two points clear of second-placed Al Ittihad.

Ronaldo, who received his Player of the Month award for February from the league before kick-off, did not get on the scoresheet, with Nassr turning around the game thanks to Abdulrahman Ghareeb’s 93rd-minute equaliser and further goals from Mohammed Al Fatil and Mohammed Maran. Those arrived in the 102nd and 105th minute, respectively.

Ronaldo, who has eight goals already for Nassr since joining in late December, was not at his best, although he did go close to adding to his personal tally. The Portugal captain had one effort cleared off the line, sent a trio of free-kicks over the Batin crossbar, and dragged wide an effort late on.

Ronaldo tweeted afterwards: "Always believe until the end! Vamos!!"

Seeking a 10th Saudi Pro League, Nassr are two clear after 19 matches played. They travel to Ittihad next Thursday for a match with serious implications on the title race.

Earlier on Friday, Ittihad sealed a relatively routine 3-0 victory at Al Khaleej. Abderrazak Hamdallah, Romarinho and Ahmed Sharahili got the goals.

Updated: March 04, 2023, 6:39 AM