Zambia’s number one citizen, His Excellency President Edgar Lungu, just had to take notice on Sunday evening after RB Salzburg forward Patson Daka scored the fastest hat-trick in the Austrian Bundesliga.
You would have thought President Lungu would be consumed by many other issues of national interest until he posted a hearty congratulatory message on his Facebook page.
“Congratulations Patson Daka! You make us proud! Keep up the good work,” the Zambian leader wrote.
It was a befitting message after the 22-year-old striker carved his own piece of history with his three quick goals that secured a 3-1 win for the Austrian log leaders over a hapless Sturm Graz at the Red Bull Arena Salzburg.
His hat-trick was struck in just eight minutes, with the first goal scored just three minutes into the game, the second coming two minutes later and his third at exactly 11 minutes.
Daka has been linked with several European clubs following his scintillating form. The three goals underlined the Chipolopolo star’s importance to his club as they enhanced his team’s chances of retaining the League title.
RB Salzburg stayed at the top of the table with 29 points while Rapid Wien amassed 25 points from the same number of games – 23.
The CAF 2017 African Young Player of the Year has bagged an impressive 23 League goals in 19 appearances this season. In all competitions, he boasts a stunning return of 35 goals, including five in African Cup of Nations [Afcon] qualifying games for Zambia and strikes in the Austrian Cup and in the Uefa Champions League.
In fact, during the recent international break, the former Power Dynamos star scored four goals in two matches for Zambia to end the Cameroon 2022 Afcon qualifiers as joint top scorer with five goals. Daka got five goals in three AFCON qualifiers having missed the other three matches through injury and Under 23 engagement.
With three years to go on his contract, the 22-year-old opened up on his ambition to follow in the footsteps of the great African goal scorers who have made headlines in the Premier League in January.
He is in his fourth season at RB Salzburg now, and having netted 24 goals on the domestic scene last season, may feel it is time to move to a bigger League.
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By Mthokozisi Dube