JEDDAH — In an exhilarating match at King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Al Ettifaq handed Al Ittihad a significant 5-0 defeat in Round 31 of the Saudi Professional League on Friday.

This victory temporarily propelled Al Ettifaq to sixth place in the standings, raising their points total to 44, while Al Ittihad's struggles intensified, leaving them stagnant at 50 points and extending their winless streak with a third consecutive loss.

Al Ittihad faced significant challenges due to a substantial number of injuries, entering the match with only five substitutes and missing 13 players, including fielding only two foreign professionals, Romarinho and N'Golo Kanté.

Al Ettifaq's scoring spree began in the fifth minute with a powerful shot from Ivorian Séko Fofana, which found the back of the net. Despite losing Demarai Gray early on due to injury, substitute Haroun Kamara earned a penalty shortly after entering the game. Moussa Dembélé confidently converted the penalty to double Al Ettifaq's lead.

The goals continued with Karl Toko Ekambi delivering the third and fourth goals within minutes of each other, at the 35th and 39th minutes, marking the worst first-half loss in Al Ittihad's history in the Saudi Professional League according to Opta stats. Ekambi completed his hat-trick and sealed the victory with a fifth goal in the second half, ensuring a resounding win for Al Ettifaq.

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