- Sadiq Umar was the hero in Almeria's 3-1 triumph over Ponferradina
- The victory ensured they cement their third position on the table
- Umar has now increased his tally to six goals in 12 league appearances so far
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Nigerian striker Sadiq Umar got the New Year started on a flying note after scoring a hat-trick to inspire Almeria to a 3-1 win over SD Ponferradina in their first game of 2021.
The 23-year-old forward who led the country to win a bronze medal at the Rio Olympic Games four years back needed just two minutes to put his side ahead in the game.
He completed his three goals in the 21st and 29th minutes to increase his tally for the season to six goals and three assists in 12 La Liga 2 appearances.
And the victory ensures they rank third on the league table with 41 points from 20 matches having already lost five and drawn two in the process.
They also stand a chance to return to the Spanish topflight next term if they improve their performance on the log.
Meanwhile, Curro Sanchez's 82nd-minute strike ended up as a consolation for the visitors as the game ended in favour of the hosts.
Umar had a chance to take his tally for the game to four before the halftime break but his effort was denied by the woodworks after controlling the ball with his chest.
Despite their advantage, the home team was reduced to 10 men after Sergio Akieme was handed a marching order by referee Eduardo Iglesias as reported by Goal.
This boosted the morale of the guests as they build on the red card and grabbed a consolation goal for themselves barely eight minutes before the game was wrapped up.
The attacker scored four goals in six appearances for Nigeria on their way to finishing third in the men's football events of the 2016 Olympic Games.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Nigerian star Samuel Chukwueze came off the bench to inspire Villarreal to their first win of the New Year.
The 21-year-old who started the game from the bench was introduced into the game at the start of the second half.
And nine minutes later, he provided an assist for Gerard Moreno's 54th-minute strike - a goal which ended up becoming the winner and they claimed a 2-1 win over Levante in the end.
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