Sports Desk, Dec 27 (EFE).- Al Nassr’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice from penalty in the side’s 2-5 win over Al Ittihad in the Saudi league on Tuesday to raise his tally to 53 goals in 2023.
The two goals at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, his 18th and 19th league goals, took Ronaldo past Englishman Harry Kane and Frenchman Kylian Mbappe, who both scored 52 goals for club and country this year.
Kane and Mbappe, who play for Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain, respectively, have no games left this year, but Ronaldo can still be overtaken in the scoring chart by Manchester City’s Norwegian forward Erling Haaland.
Haaland, who has scored 50 goals so far this year, has two potential games left in the English Premier League against Everton on Wednesday and Sheffield United on Dec. 30, respectively.
The match against Al Ittihad was a reunion for Ronaldo with his former Real Madrid teammate Karim Benzema, who this time faced the Portuguese star as a rival and was unable to find the back of the net.
Three minutes after the referee ruled out Ronaldo’s goal for offside, Al Ittihad took the lead in the 14th minute with a goal from Moroccan Abderrazak Hamdallah, who scored after a one-two with Benzema.
Ronaldo converted a penalty five minutes later to equalize for Al Nassr, who took the lead for the first time in the 38th minute through Brazilian Anderson Talisca.
Hamdallah’s second goal tied the game in the 51st minute but Ronaldo’s second goal from a penalty and Sadio Mane’s double ensured a comfortable win for Al Nassr in the end.
Al Nassr remains second in the Saudi league standings, seven points behind the leader, Al Hilal, after the win. EFE