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Al Hilal's Ighalo scores first-half hat-trick in six-goal thriller

10:45 am AEDT 19/3/22
Odion Ighalo Hilal Ahli SPL 18.03.2022
The Super Eagles striker turned up for the Boss with a first-half masterclass at the Prince Faisal bin Fahd Stadium

Odion Ighalo continued his fine goalscoring run in the 2021-22 Saudi Professional League season with a hat-trick in Al Hilal's 4-2 triumph over Al Ahli on Friday.

Ighalo scored three first-half goals while Mali striker Moussa Marega secured the emphatic home result for Ramon Diaz's men.

The 32-year-old started the party in Riyadh with the opening goal in the 11th minute followed by his second in the 34th minute and he completed his hat-trick in first-half stoppage time.

The last time the former Watford and Manchester United striker scored a hat-trick in a league game was in January 2015, when he bagged four goals in a Championship fixture against Blackpool.

Ighalo was replaced after 84 minutes of action but his scoring form comes as a boost for Nigeria ahead of their 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifying matches against Ghana on March 25 and 29.

Friday's goals helped Ighalo climb to the top of the top-flight scoring charts with 19 goals in 24 league matches this season.

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 occupy 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.