Ighalo makes winning debut with Al Shabab in Saudi Arabia

The former Manchester United striker was thrown into the fray, two days after he joined Carlos Hernandez’s side from Shanghai Shenhua

Odion Ighalo made a winning debut in the Saudi Pro League as Al Shabab hammered Al Raed on Saturday.

The encounter was Ighalo’s first outing since December 2 when he came off the bench to make his Champions League debut as a 90th-minute substitute in Manchester United’s 2-1 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.

The ex-Nigeria striker was introduced in the 84th minute after Cristian Guanca’s brace and lone goals from Ever Banega and Fabio Martins had secured maximum points for the hosts at the King Fahd Stadium.

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Saturday’s win stretched Al Shabab’s lead at the top of the Pro League table to 35 points after 17 games.

Ighalo recently left Manchester United following the expiry of his loan spell where he managed just an appearance in the Premier League in this campaign.

Immediately after his stint at Old Trafford, Al Shabab moved to sign the 31-year-old from Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua and they handed him a two-and-a-half-year contract.

His stint in Riyadh makes Saudi Arabia the sixth country he has played in his career having previously featured for Norway’s Lyn, Italy’s Udinese and Cesena, Spain’s Granada, China’s Shanghai Shenhua, England’s Watford and Manchester United.

Ighalo will be aiming to break his duck in the Saudi top-flight and help the White Lion stretch their six-game unbeaten streak when they visit Al Nassr for their game on February 13.

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