Frankfurt am Main (AFP) – Japanese midfielder Daichi Kamada hit a 40-minute hat-trick on Thursday to propel Eintracht Frankfurt to a 4-1 home victory over Salzburg in a Europa League last 32 first-leg tie.
The 23-year-old Kamada hit the first after 12 minutes. Two minutes before the break he broke from the half-way line to score a second. He added a third with a header in the 53rd minute.
He then turned provider, starting the move which ended with Filip Kostic hitting Frankfurt’s fourth.
Kamada has not scored in 17 Bundesliga games this season, but Thursday’s hat-trick gave him six in the Europa League, all in his last three games and scored over a span of 178 minutes.
Kamada hit one in the last group match against Vitoria Guimaraes and two in the last 35 minutes as Frankfurt won at Arsenal in the game before.
Those six goals made him joint top scorer in the Europa League this season.
He also becomes the third highest Japanese scorer in European club competition behind Shinji Kagawa, who scored 11 for Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, and Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino who has so far also scored 11.
Minamino also has a European hat-trick, hit in a 5-2 Salzburg victory over Rosenborg of Norway in a Europa League group game last season.
There was at least one other Japanese hat-trick in a European club competition. Junichi Inamoto hit three against Bologna in the Intertoto Cup final in August 2002 to qualify Fulham into the UEFA Cup.
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