Cristiano Ronaldo left in tears as Al Hilal beat Al Nassr on penalties to win King's Cup

A tempestuous final which saw three red cards was settled in a shootout after 120 minutes ended 1-1

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Cristiano Ronaldo was left in tears after his Al Nassr side were defeated on penalties in the King's Cup final as Al Hilal completed the domestic double.

Hilal, who went unbeaten in the Saudi Pro League (SPL) to win the title 14 points clear of runners-up Nassr, won Friday's shootout 5-4 to decide a final that finished 1-1 after extra time in Jeddah.

Ronaldo fell to the ground in despair and was consoled by teammates at King Abdullah Sports City. The defeat means the Portuguese forward, who set a new SPL record this season by scoring 35 goals, is yet to win a major trophy since joining Nassr in January 2023. His sole silverware came in the Arab Club Champions Cup last August.

In addition to falling short in domestic competitions, Ronaldo and Nassr were defeated in the Asian Champions League quarter-finals by eventual winners Al Ain.

Aiming to finally land a trophy with Nassr, the King's Cup proved to be a tempestuous encounter that saw two goals and three red cards.

Aleksandar Mitrovic headed Hilal ahead after seven minutes, and it got worse for Nassr early in the second half when goalkeeper David Ospina, formerly of Arsenal and Napoli, was sent off for handling the ball outside the area.

Hilal failed to add to their tally despite the numerical advantage and were also reduced to 10 men after 86 minutes when Ali Al Bulaihi was red-carded for an apparent headbutt on Sami Al Najei. Seconds later, Ayman Yahya headed Nassr level.

Hilal had another defender sent off in the 91st minute after Kalidou Koulibaly, signed from Chelsea last summer, received a second yellow card.

There were no goals in extra time and the final went to a shootout. Ruben Neves missed Hilal’s first attempt as did former Manchester United defender Alex Telles for Nassr.

Ronaldo, who earlier hit the post with a spectacular overhead kick, converted his penalty but could only watch as Yassine Bounou, a hero of Morocco’s march to the semifinals of the 2022 World Cup, saved twice, the first from Ali Al Hassan and then from Al Nemer.

The saves gave Hilal an 11th King’s Cup triumph while Ronaldo and his team will have to wait until next season.

Updated: June 01, 2024, 6:00 AM