Nigerian forward Odion Ighalo struck twice on Monday night to help Al Hilal defeat Al-Faisaly 2-1 and become the champions of the Saudi Professional League for the 18th time in the club’s history.
Al Hilal, who holds the record for most Saudi league titles started the day in the second position on the league standings. The Blue Waves grabbed the lead in the 7th minute through Ighalo, who slotted the ball into the back of the net with a left-footed strike after receiving a pass from Michael Oliveira.
Ighalo made the score 2-0 in the 64th minute with another assist from Michael before Al-Faisaly pulled one back five minutes later through Brazilian winger Clayson, to set up a nervy finish.
Al Hilal held on to see out the win and in doing so, leapfrogged Al Ittihad into the first position on the final day of the season. Ittihad were held to a goalless draw at home by Al-Batin. Hilal finished on 67 points after 30 rounds of matches, two more than Ittihad who ended in second place. For the third time in a row, they have now been crowned champions of Saudi Arabia.
Ighalo ended the season as the league’s top scorer with 24 goals. The 33-year-old started the season with Al Shabab but transferred to Hilal in January after a dispute with his former club. He netted 30 goals in all competitions.
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