Ighalo ends his first season in Saudi Arabia as Al Shabab’s second-top scorer

Former Super Eagles forward capped his impressive Saudi top-flight debut with goals at King Fahd Stadium

Odion Ighalo scored two goals as Al Shabab ended their 2020-21 Saudi Professional League season with a 3-0 victory over Al Wehda on Sunday night.

The former Manchester United and Watford forward found the back of the net twice in the second half to help Carlos Inarejos’ side to finish second in the table.

Fabio Martins opened the scoring for the hosts in the seventh minute and Ighalo – who marched from start to finish – extended his lead with his goals in the 54th and 90th minutes.

The Nigerian striker has scored at least one goal in his last four appearances for the White Lion and Sunday’s heroism brought his tally to nine after 13 league appearances.

Although he joined Carlos Inarejos’ side in the middle of the season, Ighalo finished his first league season in the Middle East as Al Shabab’s second-best scorer with Portugal’s Fabio Martins (nine goals) after Argentine striker Cristian Guanca, who scored 17 goals.

Ighalo quickly found his footing in Saudi Arabia after leaving Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua in February. He left Shanghai immediately after his one-year loan from childhood club Manchester United.

Al Shabab finished second in the Pro League table, four points behind leaders Al Hilal, and they automatically qualified for the AFC Champions League next season.

The 31-year-old described the Saudi Professional League’s 2020-21 campaign as a success for him.

“Thank goodness for a successful season,” he wrote on social media.

The last time Ighalo had such a great streak in a league season was in 2019 when he scored 10 goals in 17 Chinese Super League games for Shanghai Shenhua.

His best league record was also in China three years ago, when he scored 21 goals in 28 appearances for Changchun Yatai.


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