Neymar looks on as Al Hilal cruise to Super Cup


Al Hilal beat Al Ittihad 4-1 in the final of the Saudi Super Cup on Thursday to stay on course to win four trophies this season, with the injured Neymar watching his teammates cruise to victory.

The trophy, lifted in Abu Dhabi’s Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium, is the first of the season for the Riyadh giant, but is unlikely to be the last as the team is also 12 points clear of Cristiano Ronaldo‘s Al Nassr at the top of the Saudi Pro League with just seven games remaining.

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Al Hilal, also in the semifinal of the Asian Champions League and the Saudi King’s Cup, extended their world-record winning streak for top-tier teams to 34 consecutive games in all competitions.

Three days after defeating Al Nassr in the semifinal, during which Ronaldo was sent off for elbowing Ali Al-Bulaihi, two goals from Brazilian winger Malcom did the damage for Al Hilal. Salem Al-Dawsari and Nasser Al-Dawsari sealed the win with late goals.

“It was a difficult game and I am very happy to score two goals,” Malcom told Saudi television. “We are also happy to collect our first title of the season but we are chasing more trophies.”

Ittihad striker Karim Benzema, signed from Real Madrid last summer, was unable to find the target while colleague Abderrazak Hamdallah made up for missing a penalty by getting on the scoresheet.

The Moroccan forward featured in a controversial incident at the end of the match, however, as he seemed to get involved in an altercation with a fan standing close to the field. The supporter was led away by security personnel.

In 2023, the Super Cup was expanded from a single game between the league champion and King’s Cup winner to include the runners-up from both competitions. It was also moved to Abu Dhabi.

Al Hilal return to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday to take on Al-Ain in the first leg of the Asian Champions League semifinals as they seek a record fifth continental title.

The club’s potentially record-breaking season comes after spending about €350 million ($380 million) on player transfers — in large part due to Neymar’s arrival before the season — since being taken over by the Saudi sovereign wealth operation, the Public Investment Fund controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.

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