UPDATED- MATCH HERO, IBRAHIM SAID IS NIGERIA’S 6TH U-17 HAT TRICK SCORER

UPDATED- MATCH HERO, IBRAHIM SAID IS NIGERIA’S 6TH U-17 HAT TRICK SCORER

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

With the hat trick feat by Ibrahim Said in the heroic comeback performance of Nigeria against Ecuador, Nigeria now lead the pack among countries whose players have scored three goals or more in a single match

 Not only has Said become the first hat trick scorer at Brazil 2019, he has put Nigeria ahead of other countries regarding the number of hat trick stars.

He is the sixth Nigerian to score three goals or more in a match after that of Phillip Osondu in a 3-2 defeat of Bolivia on July 14, 1987 at Jeux Canada Games Stadium, Saint John’s New Found land in Canada.

That of Nwankwo Kanu followed 26 years ago when the lanky footballer scored three of the goals in the 8-0 defeat of Canada on August 22, 1993 in Japan.

Femi Opabunmi also scored three goals in a 5-1 defeat of Australia on March 23, 2001 in Trinidad & Tobago. The fourth Nigerian to score a hat trick in the competition was Kelechi Iheanacho who netted four times against Mexico in 2013.

He thus becomes one of the only three players to have scored four goals in an U17 World Cup match.

Sports Village Square reports that the other two are David of Spain in a match against New Zealand in 1997 and Colombia’s Carlos Hidalgo in the match against Finland in 2003.

After his hat trick performance on Tuesday night, “I just want to make my country proud of the team,” Said reportedly told FIFA.com.

Victor Osimhen became Nigeria’s fifth player to score a hat trick when he found the net three times in a 6-0 defeat of Australia in a Round of 16 match in 2015.

Incidentally, Said’s hat trick of Tuesday night came a day after the fifth anniversary of Osimhen’s feat.

NIGERIAN HAT TRICK SCORERS AT U17 WORLD CUP

  1. Phillip Osondu – 3 goals; Nigeria 3-2 Bolivia; July 14, 1987
  2. Nwankwo Kanu – 3 goals; Nigeria 8-0 Canada; Aug 22, 1993
  3. Femi Opabunmi – 3 goals; Nigeria 5-1 Australia; Sep 23, 2001
  4. Kelechi Iheanachor – 4 goals; Nigeria 6-1 Mexico; Oct 19, 2013
  5. Victor Osimhen – 3 goals; Nigeria 6-0AustraliaOct 28, 2015
  6. Ibrahim Said – 3 goals; Nigeria 3-2 Ecuador; Oct. 29, 2019

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