VIDEO: Ighalo scores debut goal to help Al-Hilal reach Club World Cup semifinals
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VIDEO: Ighalo scores debut goal to help Al-Hilal reach Club World Cup semifinals

Saudi giants set for clash against European champions in last four

­Odion Ighalo marked his official Al Hilal debut with a goal as they trounced Emirati side Al-Jazira SC 6-1 in their FIFA Club World Cup quarterfinal clash in Abu Dhabi.

Ighalo joined the Saudi Arabian side from Al-Shabab in the closing days of the January transfer window. He was signed as a replacement for former Swansea City striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who joined Turkish giants Galatasaray.

The Emirati side got off on the front foot and went ahead early in the game through Malian winger Abdoulay Diaby in the 14th minute of the encounter.

Super Eagles striker Ighalo opened his account with Al-Hilal in the 36th minute to draw them level. The striker was alert enough and showed good balance to slam home a header from close range while he was back-pedalling after a cross from Matheus Pereira was deflected into the air. Ighalo became the first Nigerian ever to score in the FIFA Club World Cup.

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Here’s a video of Ighalo’s goal:


Further goals from former West Bromwich Albion playmaker Matheus Pereira, Mohammed Kanno, Salem Al-Dawsari, Moussa Marega and Andre Carrillo completed the rout and sent Leonardo Jardim’s 2021 AFC Champions League winners Al-Hilal into the semifinals of the 2022 FIFA Club World Cup. Al-Hilal now hold the record for the biggest win in the history of the tournament.

Al-Hilal will do battle with European champions Chelsea in the semifinal of the FIFA Club World Cup on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi, while CAF Champions League winners Al-Ahly will face Palmeiras in the other semifinal of the competition.

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Salahudeen Sulayman

Sulayman is a sports enthusiast and budding Sports writer. You can reach him on Twitter @Sulayman_Salah

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