You are here: HomeNews2023 02 04Article 626927

Sports News of Saturday, 4 February 2023


Ighalo eyes Club World Cup title

Odion Ighalo Odion Ighalo

Striker, Odion Ighalo, will be aiming to join the exclusive list of Nigerian players who have won the Club World Cup when he leads Saudi Arabian champions Al-Hilal out against reigning CAF Champions League winners, Wydad Casablanca on Saturday (today) at Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat with a spot in the semi-finals on the line, PUNCH Sports Extra reports.

The duo Obiora Nwankwo and Joel Obi are the only Nigerian players to have won the Club World Cup.

In their two previous appearances at this competition, Al-Hilal have never lost a second-round affair, crushing Al Jazira 6-1 at this stage last February and squeaking past Esperance de Tunis 1-0 in 2019.

Last Thursday, Al-Hilal saw their 11-match unbeaten run in all competitions ended as Ramon Diaz’s side fell 1-0 to Al Feiha in the semi-final of the Saudi Super Cup.

That was the first time they failed to find the back of the net in a competitive fixture since a 0-0 draw with Ettifaq last October, as they currently trail Al Nassr by a single point for the league lead, with just one domestic defeat thus far in 2022/23.

While Wydad come into this encounter having suffered just one defeat in their last 11 fixtures against teams outside of Morocco, they have not allowed a goal in the first half all year, failing to concede an opening strike since falling 2-0 in the CAF Super Cup final last September versus RSB Berkane and the 22-time Saudi champions will be banking on the 33-year-old to get past the Moroccan side.

Ighaho who is Al Hilal’s top scorer so far this season with nine goals in 13 games remains confident that Al Hilal can win the 2023 FIFA Club World Cup title.

Ighalo was part of Al Hilal’s squad that came fourth at the last edition of the competition and insists his club can shock the heavyweights.

European champions, Real Madrid and South American winners, Flamengo are firm favourites to win the competition while Seattle Sounders and Auckland City make up the rest of the competition.

“Everything is possible in football,” Ighalo told