Moroccan El Berkaoui scores nine-minute CAF Cup hat-trick

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Karim el Berkaoui scored a nine-minute hat-trick last Sunday as Hassania Agadir of Morocco defeated San Pedro of the Ivory Coast 3-0 in the CAF Confederation Cup.

After a goalless first half in Agadir, 24-year-old Berkaoui broke the deadlock on 50 minutes.

He struck twice more before the hour and the result confirmed Agadir as favourites to win Group D and face a quarter-final against the runners-up in one of the other three.

El Berkaoui netted twice before in the Confederation Cup this season and his five-goal tally is one less than the leading scorers, South African Gift Motupa and Burkinabe Eric Traore.

The fastest hat-trick in a CAF club match was scored by Zambian Lazarous Kambole, who took five minutes to achieve the feat for Zesco United in the 2018 CAF Champions League.

It was only the second hat-trick scored in 32 matches in the group phase of the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League.

The other also came in Group D, and just a few hours earlier, with Stanley Dimbga scoring a treble as Enyimba of Nigeria swept aside Paradou of Algeria 4-1 in Aba.

Dimbga needed 62 minutes to complete a hat-trick that began in the 15th minute, and he netted again one minute after Victor Mbaoma scored to earn Enyimba a 3-0 half-time advantage.

The most successful Nigerian club in CAF competitions, with four titles, went further ahead before Abdelhak Kadri claimed a late consolation goal for the Algerians.