Nigerian forward Leke James netted a hat-trick for Molde in their 7-1 thrashing of KR Reykjavik in the UEFA Europa League qualifying first-round tie in Norway on Thursday night.

The striker, who completed his treble in the first half, first opened the scoring in the sixth minute. he doubled his tally just on the half-hour mark, and he got his third ten minutes later to set the tone for a big win over their Icelandic opponents.  

With this being his first-ever hat-trick in European competition, the 26-year-old could not hide his joy, and dedicated the feat to his family.

“I am happy to score three goals to help my club win big,” James told Score Nigeria.

“This is my first time of scoring three goals in a European continental competition. I am highly delighted to achieve this. The goals are for my wife and kids.”

The Kaduna-born striker has scored two hat-tricks in three weeks for Tornekrattet, with the first being a perfect one in the 4-0 win over Strømsgodset in the Eliteserien in just 13 minutes and 45 seconds. 

James has now scored six goals this season compared to the three he got in the whole of last campaign.

The former Bridge Boys of Lagos player featured for Aalesund until 2015 before he went to the Chinese League to play for Beijing Enterprises. In 2018, he moved to Molde on a three-year deal.

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