Ighalo nets four as Al-Hilal coast to Champions League final
Veteran striker leads Saudi giants to another final
Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo scored four times as Al-Hilal destroyed Qatari side Al-Duhail in their AFC Champions League semifinal clash at the Al-Thumama Stadium in Qatar. The defending champions strolled to a 7-0 win to book a place in the final.
Having missed out on the quarterfinal, Ighalo was restored to the starting lineup for the Saudi side as they looked to secure a place in the final.
It took only two minutes for Al-Hilal to open the scoring through the Super Eagles striker after he finished off a pass from Muhammad Kanno.
Ighalo doubled his and his side’s tally only eight minutes later off a Michael assist to put the champions firmly in the driving seat. Malian striker Moussa Marega added a third goal for Al-Hilal in the 14th minute before also scoring the side’s fourth after 27 minutes.
Saudi Arabian midfielder Salem Al-Dawsari added his name to the scoresheet with Al-Hilal’s fifth goal after 38 minutes as the Saudi side went into the half-time break with a comfortable and unassailable lead.
Just three minutes into the second half, Ighalo completed his hat-trick as the impressive Al-Dawsari turned provider for the 33-year-old striker. The experienced striker scored his fourth of the game and his side’s seventh in the 62nd minute to round off the scoring.
Ighalo was substituted off for Al-Hilal after 70 minutes of action, with Saleh Al-Shehri replacing him for the remainder of the match. The striker has now scored seven goals in six Champions League matches this season.
Al-Hilal eased past their Qatari opponents to book their place in the final where they will face Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds over two legs.