By Dayo Mustapha
Hat-trick is a hat trick; it does not matter if it’s not a ‘perfect one’.
Kelechi Iheanacho joined a host of others to nets a hat-trick in the premier league. The performance earned him the English Premier League player of the month for March 2021.
Here is a list of players from Nigeria who had netted three times in a game
1. Yakubu Aiyegbeni (The Yak)
The Edo-born former Julius Berger player started his treble when he featured for an Israeli club side, Maccabi Haifa in the Champions League against Olympiakos of Greece.
This game got attractions from managers in EPL where he scored hat-tricks for three different clubs (Blackburn Rovers, Everton, and Portsmouth) in the premier league.
His first hat-trick in EPL came against Fulham in a 3–0 home win in December 2007 while he netted his last treble in December 2011.
Goal reported Yak has netted four trebles in the premier league, making him the only African player to ever achieve the feat.
2. Nwankwo Kanu (Papilo)
Former Arsenal striker and two- time African player of the year, Nwankwo Kanu, got his treble against arch-rival Chelsea in 1999, coming on as a substitute to help Arsene Wenger’s side win 3-2 at the Stamford Bridge in a London derby.
3. Osaze Odemwingie
On 12 February, Odemwingie scored his first Premier League hat-trick for the club in a 5–1 victory over Black Country rival Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2011-2012 season.
4. Efan Ekoku
Nigeria’s first goal scorer in the Premier league, Ekoku scored four goals for Wimbledon including a hat-trick in a 5-1 triumph over Everton.
He played for Sutton United, Bournemouth, Norwich City, Wimbledon, Grasshoppers, Sheffield Wednesday and Dublin City with a total of 164 career goals in 335 league games appearances. He is now 53 years old.
5. Kelechi Iheanacho
The rave of the moment, Iheanacho produced a brilliant display that earned him the EPL player of the month award ahead of the likes of Harry Kane, Mohammed Salah etc…
The Super Eagles star grabbed his first Premier League hat-trick on Sunday, March 14, helping Leicester City defeat Sheffield United 5-0.
His strike against Burnley was adjudged the Leicester City’s goal of the month of March.
He has made over 118 appearances, scoring 32 goals in total, since moving to Leicester from Manchester City on a five-year contract in 2017. This performance earned him a new deal extension with the club till 2024.