Cristiano Ronaldo nets another hat trick in Saudi Arabia

ABHA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo notched his second hat trick in the space of 72 hours as Al-Nassr routed Abha 8-0 in the Saudi Pro League on Tuesday.

The five-time Ballon D’Or winner scored three goals and recorded two assists in the first half for the nine-time Saudi Arabian champions.

The hat trick was his third of the league season following his treble in Saturday’s 5-1 win over Al-Tai. The Portugal star leads the league with 29 goals.

Ronaldo’s first two goals Tuesday came from free-kicks. With 11 minutes on the clock, he opened the scoring with a low shot from a central position just outside the area. The second came 10 minutes later when he curled the ball around the wall from the left side.

Ronaldo then assisted Sadio Mané for Al-Nassr’s third just after the half-hour, pulling the ball back from the left for the former Liverpool forward to score.

Three minutes before the break, Ronaldo then completed the hat trick with a beautiful chip from outside the area as he ran toward goal. There was still enough time in the first-half for Ronaldo to slip the ball to his right for Abdulmajeed Al-Sulayhim to score into an open goal from close range.

The star was taken off at the break though Al-Nassr continued to find the target. Saudi Arabian international Abdulrahman Ghareeb added a sixth soon after the restart and substitute Abdulaziz Al-Aliwa scored two more.

Despite the win, Al-Nassr is still in second, 12 points behind runaway leader Al-Hilal with eight games remaining.

Al-Hilal announced earlier in the day that striker Aleksandar Mitrovic, second behind Ronaldo with 22 goals, is likely to miss the rest of the season through injury.

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