In a dazzling display of skill and finesse, Nigerian striker Obafemi Martins etched his mark on the Chinese Super League (CSL) with a stellar hat-trick, leading Shanghai Shenhua to a resounding 4-2 victory over Hebei CFFC at their home ground.
The match, held on Saturday, witnessed an intense battle with Chengdong Zhang opening the scoring for Hebei CFFC in the 48th minute. Undeterred, Martins swiftly responded, leveling the scoreline in the 62nd minute. The seesaw continued as Argentine forward Ezequiel Lavezzi reclaimed the lead for Hebei CFFC at 2-1 just two minutes later.
The 76th minute marked a pivotal moment as Martins, showcasing his prowess, netted his second goal, bringing Shanghai Shenhua back to a level playing field. A late surge ensued, with former Inter Milan star Fredy Guarin finding the back of the net in the 82nd minute, propelling Shanghai Shenhua into a 3-2 lead.
The climax of the match unfolded in the 90th minute when Martins, with unparalleled skill, completed his hat-trick, sealing the victory for Shanghai Shenhua at 4-2. This triumph, the team’s second of the season, catapulted them to the sixth position on the league table with seven points in the fiercely contested 16-team CSL.
Martins, known for his goal-scoring prowess, had an impressive record last season, tallying seven goals in just 13 league appearances for Shanghai Shenhua. His remarkable performance in this latest encounter solidifies his status as a key player in the CSL and adds another chapter to his illustrious career.