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Ighalo’s Al-Hilal defeat Flamengo to reach Club World Cup final

Odion Ighalo was in action for Al-Hilal as they overcame South American champions Flamengo 3-2 to reach the final of the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup. The Saudi Arabian side will face one of Real Madrid or Al-Ahly in the final of the competition in Morocco.

After securing a 5-3 penalty shootout win over CAF Champions League winners Wydad AC, Al-Hilal were looking to avoid falling in the semifinal as they did to Chelsea last year.

The AFC champions took the lead after only four minutes as midfielder Salem Al-Dawsari, popular for his screamer against Argentina at the World Cup, scored from the penalty spot. Former Atletico Madrid forward Luciano Vietto had been bundled to the floor in the box for the penalty.

Flamengo pressed hard and found an equaliser through Brazil international striker Pedro in the 20th minute.

With the first half drawing to a close, Al-Hilal restored their lead as Vietto again drew a foul in the box, leading to a second yellow card for midfielder Gerson. Al-Dawsari stepped up to score his second of the match from the penalty spot in added time.

Ighalo was substituted off in the 57th minute as he had an uncharacteristically quiet game, with Michael sent on in his stead.

The impressive Vietto added his name to the scoresheet in the 70th minute as he converted a pass from Al-Dawsari to cap off a brilliant performance in the match.

Pedro scored a second for Flamengo in added time, but it was only a consolation. Al-Hilal held on for the win and booked their ticket to the final, where they will face Real Madrid or Al-Ahly.

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