Kano Pillars’ Abdullahi’s 5-goal thriller breaks NPFL’s four-year record

KANO Pillars sensation Yusuf Abdullahi’s five goals in a single match against Gombe United in a matchday 11 fixture of the 2023/2024 Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) played on Sunday, December 3, 2023, has ended the four-year drought of ‘over’ hat-trick goals in the league.

In football parlance, when a player scores five goals in a single match, it is called a glut, but the popular feat achieved on the field of play is scoring three goals which is called a hat-trick.

Abdullahi’s brilliance came into the spotlight as he became a nightmare to his opponent’s defence line, leaving their goalkeeper hapless behind the stick during the match.

The young lad achieved his feat, scoring 3 and 2 goals in both the first and second halves to secure the victory for Kano Pillars, 5-2, against relegation-threatened Gombe United.

His feat not only bolstered confidence in the team to forge ahead in the league, but it also ended the drought of more than three goals scored by an individual player in a single match in the country’s top-flight league.

The last time the country’s top-flight league recorded a player scoring more than three goals was during the 2019/20 season when Israel Abia scored all four goals for Sunshine Stars in a 4-2 win over Nasarawa United.

Coincidentally, the match was played on December 9, 2019, at the Ondo state Sports Complex stadium in Akure, the state capital. At the end of the season, he emerged as the top goalscorer with 12 goals.

    Before Israel came into the limelight, Emem Eduok of the defunct Dolphins FC netted six goals against Nembe City to record a similar performance in the country’s top-flight football in 2014.

    He became the first and only player in the league to score as many as six goals in one match.

    It took the cycle of five years before the sun shined on Sunshine Stars’ Israel to score more than three goals to end the over three goals drought in the league.

    The ICIR reports that despite Kano Pillars’ Abdullahi’s and Sunshine Stars’ Israel’s five goals, they could not match defunct Dolphins FC’s Eduok six-goal thriller in a single match.

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