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Every goal for united will be dedicated to my late sister, Ighalo vows


Manchester United’s former Super Eagles’ striker, Odion Ighalo, during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 second leg match against Club Brugge at Old Trafford, on Thursday. PHOTO: AFP

Former Super Eagles striker, Odion Ighalo, has dedicated his first goal for Manchester United against Club Brugge to her late sister, Mary Atole, in the UEFA Europa League second leg encounter.

Ighalo, who is on a loan spell to Old Trafford from China’s Shanghai Shenhua last month, tapped home midfielder’s Juan Mata’s pass in the first half of their last-32 second leg.

“As a fellow striker myself, I know how important that first goal is and he’s been close a couple of times,” Solskjaer, whose side were 6-1 winners on aggregate, told reporters.


“You can see he sniffs goals, he wants to be there, where it sometimes hurts. That goal, he was sharp in his head and as that ball is played over to Juan, he spins and was on the six-yard line when Juan puts it there. That’s a natural striker.”

After celebrating his goal, boyhood United supporter, Ighalo lifted his shirt to reveal a vest with photograph of his late sister, Mary Atole, who died suddenly on December 12 at her home in Canada.

“She was a good United’s fan too. We hoped for this moment but now I’m at United, she’s not here to see what is going on,” Ighalo told the club’s website.

“It’s emotional. I have promised myself that every goal I score, I’ll dedicate it to her. She’s up there watching me.”

Ighalo, who is on loan to United until the end of the season, looks sure of more game time as fellow forward, Anthony Martial, was a last-minute absentee from Thursday’s match due to injury and is a doubt for tomorrow’s Premier League game at Everton.

United are also missing striker Marcus Rashford with a back problem.


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Mary AtoleOdion Ighalo
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