Ighalo dedicates first United goal against Club Brugge to late sister

Odion Ighalo opened his Manchester United goal account in the Red Devils’ Europa League game against Club Brugge, becoming the first Nigerian to do so for the Old Trafford giants.

It was the striker’s first start for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men following his shock loan move from Shanghai Shenhua as a replacement for injured Marcus Rashford.

After scoring the goal, Odion Ighalo paid a touching tribute to his late sister, Mary Atole. He lifted his jersey to show a white top with a picture of his sister on it during the Europa League game against Club Brugge.

Ighalo returned to England following a stint with Watford but has had to be patient in a bid to open his account for the Red Devils.

That wait has now come to a close, with Ighalo finding the target in his third outing versus the Belgian topflight outfit.

‘I feel very emotional because it has not really struck me that my sister is gone forever and I am never going to see her again,’ the frontman told the Sun.

‘Sometimes when I am alone and I just remember her, I have one sharp pain in my heart.

‘My twin sister, Akhere, will call me, crying, saying she misses her and, sometimes when I am alone, I cry too.

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‘It is a very painful loss but I am trying to be strong as a man.’

Mary Atole died aged 43 after collapsing at her home in Canada on December 12, and Ighalo revealed the devastating news with a poignant tribute on Instagram.

The striker’s late sister was a passionate United supporter and had a framed picture of her wearing a personalised club jersey in her home.

And United’s signing outlined the touching way he had planned to pay tribute to Mary.

He said: ‘Every goal I score from now until I finish my career will be dedicated to God and to her.

‘I have written her name on my special white T-shirt and put her name on my boots. I want to show the world she is always with me.’

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