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VIDEO: Koka fires hat-trick as Rio Ave hammer Estoril
Ahmed Hassan ‘Koka’ fired a hat-trick as Rio Ave hammered Estoril 5-1 in the Primeira Liga.
After a fairly even start to the game that produced very few goal scoring opportunities, it looked as if we would be heading for a goalless first half, but, Koka had other ideas.
Dropped to the bench in midweek for his side’s Europa League defeat against Elfsborg in Sweden, Koka would, by the end of this game, ensure that he is an automatic starter for the second leg next week.
It would take 38 minutes for the deadlock to be broken; a brilliant pass from Renan to find Koka, who shrugged off his marker and rifled a left-footed shot into the bottom right-hand corner past the Estoril goalkeeper, Vagner.
Right on the stroke of half-time, Rio Ave would double their tally, after a poor clearance from Vagner could only find the feet of Renan, who slid the ball through a gap in the defence into the path of Koka, who took one touch and wonderfully chipped the ball over the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.
After half-time, one would have assumed that Rio Ave would take their foot off the gas to preserve energy for their important Europa League tie on Thursday, but after the hour mark, their intentions were clear; a Renan corner was floated into the box, and Koka attacked it totally unmarked and headed it into the top corner. Poor defending once again by Estoril but another brilliant goal by the Egyptian forward.
Not only did Koka score a perfect hat-trick (Left foot, right foot, header), but he also became the first Egyptian since Zidan for Mainz in 2007 (vs Energie Cottbus) to score a hat-trick in a European top division.
Pedro Moreira would put the game beyond doubt with a couple of goals of his own; a side footed shot from just outside the 18 yard box and a close range effort after some clever link up play with the midfield. Estoril scored a consolation goal in between through João Pedro, but by then, the game was over and Rio Ave moved to the top of the table, for a few hours at least.
It was a Man of the Match performance by the 21-year-old Koka, and undoubtedly the best performance of any Egyptian in the Primeira Liga.