Ighalo ends maiden season in Saudi Arabia as Al Shabab’s joint-second top-scorer



The former Super Eagles striker capped his impressive debut campaign in the Saudi top-flight with goals at the 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’s men finish second in the league table.

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

The Nigerian striker scored at least a goal in his last four matches for the White Lion and Sunday’s heroics took his tally to nine goals after 13 league appearances.

Despite joining Carlos Inarejos’s side in the middle of the season, Ighalo ended his first league season in the Middle East as the joint-second top-scorer for Al Shabab with Portugal’s Fabio Martins (nine goals) after Argentina striker Cristian Guanca, who scored 17 goals.

Ighalo has rapidly found his feet in Saudi Arabia following his permanent from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua in February. He left Shanghai immediately after his one-year loan spell at boyhood club Manchester United.

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

The 31-year-old described the 2020-21 Saudi Professional League campaign as a successful one for him.

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

The last time Ighalo enjoyed such a fine goalscoring run in a league season was in 2019 when he scored 10 goals in 17 Chinese Super League games for Shanghai Shenhua.

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



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Lexie Ayers
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