Takumi Minamino hit a hat trick to lead his Austrian side Salzburg to a 5-2 victory over Norwegian top division champions Rosenborg in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday.
Minamino put the visitors ahead five minutes into the match at Lerkendal Stadion and completed his hat trick in the 45th, giving Salzburg a 4-0 lead at half-time along with a goal from Norway international Fredrik Gulbrandsen.
After the break, the 23-year-old Japanese midfielder nearly netted a fourth time, but a shot between two Rosenborg defenders in the 57th resulted in an own goal from Even Holvand.
«It was the best night for me,» Minamino said. «I’ve felt like I always have something in reserve when I take the field. Now I’m making good use of that opportunity.»
Samuel Adegbenro and Mike Jensen got two goals for Rosenborg in the second half but it wasn’t enough as the Austrian first division leaders walked away with their fourth straight Europa League win.
According to the team, Minamino is the first Japanese player to score a hat trick in a UEFA competition. Last week, he led Salzburg to a 1-0 win over Austria Lustenau for a spot in the Austrian Cup quarterfinals.
Minamino has scored four goals in his last three international appearances, including a brace in Japan’s 4-3 win against Uruguay in their friendly last month.
Salzburg sit at the top of Group B in the Europa League on 12 points after four matches, two wins clear of Leipzig with two games remaining.
All — Kyodo News+