Big Day for Kahinde Fatai in the Europa League

We are in the midst of a marathon day of Europa League action, with 29 games, the entire first leg of the 3rd Qualifying Round, being played today. While there are some big clubs starting to appear on the EL radar – PSV, Torino, Lyon – the first and so far only hat trick of the day came from one of the less heralded clubs that make this competition so special.


Kahinde Fatai plays for Astra Giurgiu, the defending runners up in Romania’s Liga I. He has also represented Nigeria at the under-20 and under-23 levels. During four seasons with Giurgiu, he averaged about a goal every three games. His Europa League average is now a bit higher.

Fatai’s day started as well as anyone could have hoped, opening the scoring at home against Czech side Slovan Liberec in just the 4th minute. His goal stood through halftime, well into the second half before he doubled it in the 79th and completed his hat trick just two minutes later.

I’d love to show you some video of these three goals, but so far I haven’t been able to find them in the usual places. So instead, here’s one of the crazier goals you’ll see today, a classic from Fatai in last year’s Romanian league against Petrolul Ploiesti. Even with the help of none-too-craft defending, it’s a pretty finish: