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Cristiano Ronaldo receives red card amidst Al-Nassr’s loss against Al-Hilal

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ABUD DHABI: Veteran striker Cristiano Ronaldo was shown a red card during Al-Nassr’s 2-1 loss to Al-Hilal in the Saudi Super Cup semi-final at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium on Monday.

The star player received marching orders four minutes before the final time as he elbowed opponent defender Ali Hadi Mohammed Al-Bulaihi in frustration as his team was heading towards a 2-0 loss.

Former Liverpool forward Sadio Mane, however, scored a consolation goal for Al-Nassr in injury time to reduce the deficit.

Al-Nassr’s manager, Castro criticized the decision and accused Al-Bulaihi of acting to get Ronaldo sent off.

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“The decision was incorrect,” said Castro. “The Al Hilal defender pretended that he was hit in the face, and it was a play on his part, and the contact was small, and they took advantage of Ronaldo’s provocation.”

“The VAR referee was supposed to call the main referee, and this is my personal opinion.”

Earlier, Al-Hilal drew first blood in the 62nd minute courtesy of Salem Al-Dawsari finding Sergej Milinkovic-Savic’s cross and sending the ball smoothly into the net.

The defending champions’ lead was extended ten minutes later as Michael’s long cross found Malcolm, who headed the ball to get his name on the scoresheet.

Al-Hilal will face Al-Ittihad in the Saudi Super Cup final on Thursday, aiming for their fourth title.

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