Nigerian striker Gift Orban scored his first hat-trick of the season to lead KAA Gent to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Iceland’s Breiðablik in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday at the Kópavogsvöllur stadium in Kópavogur.
Orban, who had just ended an eight-game goal drought last weekend, was the star of the show, netting three times to help his side overcome their Icelandic opponents and move to the top of Group A with 10 points.
The Nigerian opened the scoring in the sixth minute, but the hosts responded quickly with two goals from Jason Daði Svanþórsson in the 16th and 18th minutes. Orban equalized from the penalty spot in the 54th minute before grabbing the winner in the 69th minute.
Last season, Orban scored three hat-tricks for Gent in a breakout campaign that saw him score 20 goals in 22 appearances. The hat-trick against Breiðablik takes his tally for the current season to 11 goals in 19 appearances across all competitions.
The 21-year-old has been the subject of transfer speculation all season, with Tottenham Hotspur, Lille, and Fulham all reportedly submitting bids of €25 million for his services. However, Gent refused to sell him for anything less than €30 million, which none of the clubs were willing to pay before the summer transfer window deadline.
He appeared on the radar of German Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt ahead of the January transfer window.