Omar Khribin scores a hat-trick as Al-Hilal wrap up the Saudi Pro League title

Special Omar Khribin scores a hat-trick as Al-Hilal wrap up the Saudi Pro League title
Al-Hilal celebrate their 15th Saudi Pro League title. (@Alhilal_EN)
Updated 13 April 2018

Omar Khribin scores a hat-trick as Al-Hilal wrap up the Saudi Pro League title

Omar Khribin scores a hat-trick as Al-Hilal wrap up the Saudi Pro League title
  • Al-Hilal beat Al-Fateh 4-1 on the final day
  • Syrian star Khribin scores a first-half hat-trick

Al-Hilal produced an exceptional first-half performance on the last day of the Saudi Pro League season to wrap up a record 15th league title for Al-Za’eem after beating Al-Fateh 4-1 in front of over 24,000 spectators at the King Saud University stadium in Riyadh.
Al-Hilal knew a win would see them pip Al-Ahli, who they led by a point, to the title and they had everything wrapped up by half-time after Omar Khribin announced his return from injury with a hat-trick inside 45 minutes. Moroccon Achraf Bencharki got the other which meant the title celebrations could start early and that Al-Ahli's 1-0 win over Ohod proved irrelevant.
The big news from Al-Ahli was that Ukrainian coach Sergei Rebrov dropped his top-scorer Omar Al-Somah after their much publicised fall-out after the 0-0 draw with Al-Hilal last week.
Al-Hilal, meanwhile, recalled their fit-again Syrian star for the first time in three months and he showed them exactly what they had been missing just when they needed it. The Asian Player of the Year replaced the dropped Gelmin Rivas and he served notice of is intent by hitting the bar after just four minutes from a 25-yard free-kick.
Three minutes later, after Czech referee Pavel Královec had booked Al-Fateh’s defender Abdullah Al-Dossari for a foul on the Syrian striker on the edge of the box, Khribin picked himself up, dusted himself off and stepped up to score the opening goal, beating the Al-Fateh keeper Ali Al-Mazidi who got a hand on the ball but failed to save the Syrian striker’s effort, which seemed to go right through the keeper’s hands.
With any nerves settled, the Syrian doubled Al-Hilal's lead on 14 minutes when he raced onto a long ball from the defence, beating the offside trap and with the onrushing custodian to beat, the striker coolly and calmly tucked the ball under the keeper. The roar from the Al-Hilal faithful was deafening. They knew it was going to be their day.
Al-Za’eem were now in the ascendency and confidently moving the ball around the field — and moments later Khribin could have completed his hat-trick but failed to connect with Ezequiel Cerutti’s headed knock-down in the six-yard box.
But Khribin completed his hat-trick on 33 minutes to put the game to bed, beating the Al-Fateh goalkeeper with a low shot in the six-yard box that went under the keeper after Bencharki had put Cerutti clear down the right flank.
Al-Hilal were now putting on a show and pulling out all the party tricks. Bencharki's delightful back-heel found Yasser Al-Shahrani and the full-back got down the left to cut it back to Bencharki to score the fourth five minutes before half-time. Game, set and match.
Brazilian João Pedro netted a late consolation for Al-Fateh in the second half, but the game had been won long before and the celebrations started long before the final whistle.