Ighalo wins Saudi King's Cup despite penalty miss

Ighalo wins Saudi King's Cup despite penalty miss

Ayoola Kelechi 08:56 - 13.05.2023

Nigeria's Odion Ighalo survived missing a penalty in the final shootout to claim the Saudi King's Cup with Al-Hilal

Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo escaped criticism after lifting the Saudi King's Cup with Al-Hilal despite missing a penalty during the final’s shootout.

Ighalo triumphs in Saudi King’s Cup final

Ighalo claimed his second major honour with Al-Hilal with the King’s Cup title adding to the 2021/22 Saudi Pro League title he won last year after a dramatic penalty shootout win over Al-Wehda in which the Nigerian forward saw his effort saved by goalkeeper Monir El Kajoui.

Ighalo Celebrates Saudi King's Cup with Al-Hilal teammates
Ighalo Celebrates Saudi King's Cup with Al-Hilal teammates

Ighalo was unable to make a real impact during the regulation 90 minutes, and Al-Hilal needed a 99th-minute equaliser from defender Ali Al-Boleahi to take the game into extra time.

The FIFA Club World Cup finalists had conceded a first-half goal from Al-Wehda’s Karim Yoda and appeared destined to lose their third final of the season after the Club World Cup and AFC Champions League final losses until they were rescued by a fine finish from Al-Boleahi nine minutes into stoppage time of the regulation 90 minutes.

Al-Mayouf saves the day for Al-Hilal with penalty heroics

The teams battled for 30 minutes of extra time with no winner emerging after Al-Hilal spurned the best chance to win the game from the penalty spot when Musab Al-Juwayr missed a spot-kick early in the first half of extra time, forcing the final to go to a penalty shootout where Al-Hilal goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf emerged the hero.

The penalty shootout was characterised by early misses, as four of the opening five penalties taken by both sides failed to find the back of the net, including Ighalo’s saved attempt, which was one of four saved by either team’s goalkeeper in the opening rounds of kicks.

The two teams then scored the next 11 penalties between them before Al-Hilal goalkeeper, Al-Mayouf saved from Al-Wehda forward Hazzaa Al-Ghamdi during sudden death before converting the winning penalty himself to give his side their first King’s Cup trophy since the 2019/20 season in a thrilling 7-6 penalty win.