Sunday, January 31, 2016 3:05 pm
Kelechi Iheanacho’s exploits against Aston Villa in Saturday’s English FA Cup fourth round match, where he scored amazing hat trick, has earned him applause from his teammates and senior colleagues in Manchester City.
Teenage striker, Nigerian Iheanacho, gave Manchester City fans an exciting glimpse into the future by scoring his first hat-trick as Manuel Pellegrini team advanced to the next round of FA Cup in 4-0 victory over Villa.
The 19-year-old lit up the FA Cup fourth round tie at Villa Park with three goals, an assist and an all-round display that has surely made him number two striker at the club behind the legendary Kun.
The Nigerian, restricted mainly to substitute appearances this season, put City ahead from close range after four minutes, converted a penalty after 24 minutes and raced clear to complete his haul late on before Raheem Sterling also got his name on the scoresheet.
Former African footballer of the year, who is a City player, Ivorian Yaya Toure took to the tweeter to applaud Iheanacho’s performance against Villa, tweeting: “Well done to all the lads today and congratulations on the hat-trick @67Kelechi =ØOÜ<Øþß=ØOÜ<Øþß=ØOÜ<Øþß ½&þ½&þ½&þ.” So also was Argentina’s Sergio Kun Aguero, who was rested during the FA Cup cracker. His tweet @aguerosergiokun was not only to hail the team’s performance for booking the ticket for the next round of the FA Cup, but also singled out the Nigerian teenager for praises. He tweeted: “Everyone in the team did a great job to advance to the next round of the FA Cup. Congrats on the hat-trick, @67Kelechi!” The website of the club, www.mcfc.co.uk, has this to say about Iheanacho’s exploits in the FA Cup encounter. “Kelechi is averaging a goal for every 63 minutes he is on the field and, when you put his four assists into the equation, he has direct involvement in a goal for every 44 minutes this season. “Manuel has used the Academy graduate with increasingly regularity as the season has gone on but yesterday (Saturday) felt like a milestone moment for Iheanacho as he assumed sole responsibility for leading the line and showcased his cold-blooded streak in front of goal. “To put his achievement into context, on Saturday, Kelechi became the youngest City player to score a hat-trick since Joe Hayes in March 1955.” Iheanacho himself told Manchester City’s video channel that his hat-trick against Villa in a 4-0 win that sealed City’s place in the fifth round of the FA Cup is the starting point of his career. “I’m happy. I’m so glad to score a hat-trick and I’m delighted as well. “It’s a great day in my life, but it’s not the greatest day of my life. I need to keep working hard every day, every training [session] and every game. “This is the starting point of my career, I need to keep going. “It is important to get an early goal. It’s good that we get an early start and the goals will start to come,” said Iheanacho, who won the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a member of the Nigeria U-20 Flying Eagles at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup.