Al-Hilal, a club from Saudi Arabia, the reigning champions successfully advanced to the final. After a brutal show crushing Al-Duhail, a club from Qatar, with a score of 7-0 in the AFC Champions League 2022 semi-finals, West Zone at Al-Thumama Stadium.
Former Manchester United striker Ighalo could have doubled the lead by the fifth minute, only to find the hands of Salah Zakaria while Nam Tae-hee rifled over the bar at the other end as Al Duhail sought to ensure the game was a contest.
Ighalo’s second, however, extinguished any sense the Qataris could challenge.
The Nigerian applied the finishing touch at the end of a sweeping move in the 10th minute that saw Jang Hyun-soo feed Michael Oliveira on the right from deep and the Brazilian scampered down the line before teeing up Ighalo to score.
Barely four minutes later a rampaging Al Hilal added a third after Salman Al Faraj released Salem Al Dawsari down the left and his ball into the area was dispatched with glee by Marega.
The Mali international threatened to claim his second, heading over the bar before seeing another goal-bound attempted push around the post by Zakaria.
In the 27th minute Marega did score again, claiming Al Hilal’s fourth when he capitalised on poor defending following Abdullah Al Muaiouf’s long punt forward, the striker calmly sliding his shot home.
Both sides continued to create chances, with Olunga’s shot tipped over the bar by Al Muaiouf and Al Dawsari firing wide after yet another rapid-fire Al Hilal break cut the Al Duhail defence apart.
Al Dawsari made amends in the 38th minute when he stroked home after being found by Marega’s backheel, slotting his right-foot shot past the helpless Zakaria.
Marega was denied his hat-trick when the Video Assistant Referee ruled out a volleyed effort four minutes from the conclusion of a half that Al Duhail coach Hernan Crespo will have been desperate to see end.
There was to be no respite for the Argentinian, however, as the second half began with Al Hilal continuing to pick apart the Qataris.
Ighalo completed his hat-trick when he coolly clipped the ball over Zakaria after he was fed by Al Dawsari and he hit his fourth of the night when he side-footed Abdullah Al Hamdan’s cut-back into the corner in the 62nd minute to put a cap on the most comprehensive of wins.
Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal will host the first leg of the final in Riyadh on April 29 before travelling to Japan to take on Urawa at Saitama Stadium on May 6 and the four-time winners will be confident of retaining the title after a remarkable and ruthless display in Doha.
Credit Photo : AFC