Ighalo scores four as Al Hilal reach AFC Champions League final

AFC CL Ighalo scores four as Al Hilal reach AFC Champions League final

Ayoola Kelechi 18:18 - 26.02.2023

Ighalo scored a hat-trick plus one to fire Al Hilal into the AFC Champions League final

Odion Ighalo was on the scoresheet four times as Al Hilal blew away Al Duhail 7-0 in the semifinal of the AFC Champions League to reach the final of the competition that they won last season. 

Al Hilal now have the chance to become the first team to successfully defend the AFC Champions League since Al Itiihad did so in 2005. 

var widgetLoaderConfig = widgetLoaderConfig || { CDN_URL: 'https://widgets.sportal365.com', APP_LINK: 'desktop', API_URL: 'https://africa.football.api.sportal365.com/', API_KEY: '2f852b4de2f3a5cf3188e74b33087bb4:2c18422f8e826a7d11aeed52edb2449e', LANG: 'en', REQUEST_INTERVAL: 30, ENABLE_BET_SLIP: false, AUTHOR: false, THEME: "light", TOURNAMENT_ORDER: "pulse_nigeria", LINK_OPTIONS_V2: { 'player' : { 'url': '/football/player/{playerId}' }, 'team' : { 'url': '/football/{teamId}' }, 'tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}' }, 'match': { 'url' : '/football/match/{matchId}', 'sort': { 'criteria': 'alphabetically', 'direction': 'asc' } }, 'configuration': { 'newWindow': false }, 'standings_tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}/standings' } } }; if (!document.querySelector('script[src="https://widgets.sportal365.com/loader.bundle.min.js"]')) { window.setTimeout(function () { let scriptCss = document.createElement('link'); scriptCss.href = 'https://www.pulsesports.ng/css/sport-widgets.css?v=1668785443'; scriptCss.rel = 'stylesheet'; scriptCss.type = 'text/css'; document.body.appendChild(scriptCss); let scriptTag = document.createElement('script'); scriptTag.src = 'https://widgets.sportal365.com/loader.bundle.min.js'; scriptTag.defer = true; scriptTag.onload = function () { window.setTimeout(function () { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }, 200); }; document.head.appendChild(scriptTag); }, 0); } else { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }

Ighalo was one of three goal scorers and was joined by Malian Moussa Marega and Saudi Arabia World Cup hero Salem Al-Dawsari as Al Hilal showed their superiority over their Qatari hosts. 

The victory means that Al Hilal will now face 2007 and 2017 AFC Champions League winners Urawa Red Diamonds in the final to be held over two legs on April 29. and May 6th.

How it happened

Al Hilal were eager to show their superiority over their opponents and took the lead after less than two minutes as Odion Ighalo headed in to put them 1-0 up to set the tone for the match. 

He got his second after only 10 minutes as he was on the end of a brilliant Al Hilal move that also involved Brazilian winger Michael Oliveira. 

The onslaught continued when Moussa Marega got in on the action with a cool finish off Al-Dawsari’s assist. He levelled up with Ighalo by scoring Al Hilal’s fourth after an assist from Al Hilal's goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf. 

By the half-hour mark, Al Hilal had established a 4-0 lead and had effectively ended the tie as a contest as Al Duhail could not keep up with their visitors. 

Al Hilal turned up the style for the fifth goal as Al-Dawsari and Marega combined again, but the Malian provided the assist this time with a sweet backheel pass to set up the Saudi Arabian midfielder. 

It was almost 6-0 just before the break when Marega had the ball in the net, but Al Duhail were let off the hook by VAR, who chalked off the goal. 

In the second half, Al Hilal took their foot off the peddle a little but still scored twice as Ighalo grabbed his third and fourth goals of the match to make it 7-0 to the reigning AFC champions. 

Al Hilal reach consecutive AFC Champions League finals

Al Hilal put on a finishing clinic as they scored seven goals from seven big chances to book a place in their second AFC Champions League final in a row. 

They will play Urawa Red Diamonds who they beat in the AFC Champions League final in 2019 and lost to in the 2017 final. 

Related content