By Izuchukwu Okosi :
Super Eagles striker Odion Ighalo was in action Sunday morning (Nigerian time) in Changchun Yatai’s 4-2 win against Shanghai SIPG at Yatai’s home ground, Development Area Stadium and scored his fourth goal of the season, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.
The Matchday-16 Chinese Super League game was Ighalo’s 14th of the season in which he has now played in 1,333 minutes.
Yatai scored three first half goals in the space of seven minutes, first through captain and Hungarian midfielder Szabolcs Huszti in the 22nd minute from the penalty spot after Ighalo was fouled in the penalty area.
Jiang Zhe doubled the lead four minutes later before Yang Long grabbed the third in the 29th minute in a flowing counter attacking move which Ighalo was part of.
The first half ended 3-0, but it was SIPG that got on the scoresheet thanks to an own goal from Yatai’s defender Zhang Xiaofei after communication break down with his goalkeeper.
Ighalo then restored the three goals advantage four minutes later when he latched unto a through pass from captain Huszti rounded SIPG goalkeeper Yan Junling. The crowd went berserk and chanted the Nigerian’s name from the stands.
Li Shenglong gave the team managed by former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas some hopes in the 61st minute when he scored to reduce the score to 4-2.
Ighalo was verbally cautioned by the referee Wang Zhe to stop inciting the Yatai supporters as they chant his name loudly when he cleverly won two corners in the 90th minute, kicking the ball on the legs of the SIPG defenders who were marking him closely.
The win lifts Ighalo’s team to 10th in the table with 19 points, displacing Guizhou Zhicheng hitherto in 10th place with 18 points. SIPH are second in the CSL table with 36 points.
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