Marcelo Brozovic scored a brace as Al Nassr survived a second-half scare to beat Al Akhdoud 3-2 in the Saudi Pro League League 2023-24 at the Prince Hathloul bin Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium on Thursday.

Cristiano Ronaldo also got on the scoresheet to net his 33rd goal of the season.

Coming from a 6-0 thumping of Al Wehda, Al Nassr started the match on the dominant foot as Marcelo Brozivic scored the opener in the 7th minute.

Left-back Alex Telles’ cross deflected off an Al Akhdoud defender and ended up at Brozovic’s feet, who found the side netting with a shot from the edge of the box.

Eight minutes later, the league’s top scorer Ronaldo doubled the lead after a great bit of play from Ali Al Hassan on the right side, who made sure that his cross bounced off the legs of Ronaldo inside the six-yard box, into the goal.

Al Nassr had the chance to extend its lead early in the second half when Sadio Mane was denied by the crossbar after hitting Brozovic’s scoop pass on the volley.

What seemed to be smooth sailing for Al Nassr was disrupted by a rejuvenated Al Akhdoud side, which pulled one back in the 60th minute through a fantastic shot from outside the box by Hassan Al Habib.

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Ten minutes later, Akhdoud drew level after some sloppy defending from Aymeric Laporte, who gave away the ball to Saviour Godwin inside the box, who made no mistake in putting the ball in the back of the net. The goal meant that for the time being, Al Hilal had secured the Saudi Pro League title, attaining a 15-point lead.

However, Brozovic had other plans after the Croatian found himself at the end of a loose ball inside the box in the 91st minute, after Ronaldo hit the crossbar with a header. Brozovic lashed his right foot at the ball to give Al Nassr its lead back.

Having played a game more, Al Nassr is currently nine points behind league leader Al Hilal, who can secure its 19th Saudi Pro League title on Saturday, as it faces Al Hazm at home. Al Nassr will face Al Hilal on May 17 in the Saudi Pro League.