Al Hilal’s Ighalo ends Saudi Professional League season with hat-trick

The Super Eagles striker turned up like the Boss with a first-half masterclass at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium Odion Ighalo ended the 2021-22 Saudi Professional League season on a high note with a hat-trick in Al Hilal’s 4-2 triumph over Al Ahli on Friday.

Ramon Diaz’s side won emphatically at home thanks to three goals from Ighalo in the first half and a goal from Mali attacker Moussa Marega. The 32-year-old kicked off the celebrations in Riyadh by scoring the game’s first goal in the 11th minute, followed by his second in the 34th minute, and his hat-trick in first-half stoppage time.

The former Watford and Manchester United striker last scored a hat-trick in a league game in January 2015, when he scored four goals against Blackpool in the Championship. Ighalo was replaced after 84 minutes, but his goal-scoring habit is encouraging for Nigeria as they prepare for their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Ghana on March 25 and 29. With 19 goals in 24 league matches this season, Ighalo has climbed to the top of the Premier League scoring lists.

He is four goals ahead of Cameroon’s Leandre Tawamba and Romarinho who occupy the second spot. He has been excellent in front of goal since he joined Al Hilal from rivals Al Shabab on a two-and-a-half-year contract in January, with a contribution of seven goals in six league appearances. Meanwhile, Al Hilal ended their campaign in second place with 52 points after 24 games and they will now turn their attention to the King’s Cup and AFC Champions League group matches.

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