The Nigerian forward got himself on the scoresheet in a European clash against Club Brugge, and couldn’t hide his joy post-match
Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo described scoring his first goal for the club as a “dream come true”, and dedicated the strike to his late sister.
The Red Devils romped to a 5-0 win over Club Brugge in the second leg of their Europa League round of 32 tie on Thursday night, progressing to the next round 6-1 on aggregate.
Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring from the penalty spot just before the half-hour mark, after the Belgian outfit were reduced to ten men when Simon Deli handled the ball in the area.
Ighalo broke his duck moments later, showing off his predatory instincts to turn home a neat Juan Mata cut-back.
Scott McTominay added a third on his return from a two-month injury lay off, and Fred helped himself to two goals late on as United picked up their fifth win from their last seven matches across all competitions.
United took a gamble on Ighalo in the winter transfer market, bringing in the 30-year-old on loan from Shanghai Shenhua, but he impressed on his maiden start at Old Trafford.
When asked to describe his emotions post-match having got off the mark for his boyhood club, Ighalo responded: “It was a great moment, I have been waiting for this since making my debut.
“I have it now and it starts my goal career here at the team I have supported since I was a little boy.
“It is a dream come true and I thank God for that. “
Ighalo went on to dedicate his first-half strike to his late sister Mary Atole, who passed away suddenly in December.
He said: “I promise myself that every goal I score I will dedicate to her [his late sister]. So she is up there watching me and doing well for MUFC.”
The former Nigeria international added on how he has been able to settle into his new surroundings quickly at Old Trafford: “I know some of the guys from before and they are good lads.
“In the dressing room we have fun together and it’s much easier to gel with the team.”
United struggled to break Brugge down during the 1-1 draw at Jan Breydel Stadium last week, but produced a far more expansive display in front of their own fans.
“The confidence was high, we spoke about that before the game that it’s played at home and the fans are behind us,” Igahlo continued. “We had to go all out from the first minute and push to go to the next round and we did.
“The first goal opened up everything and the red card made it difficult for them, with our attacking and playing at home too. From the start, we worked hard until the last minute.”