One-cap New Zealand international Max Mata has led his Sligo Rovers side to a 3-2 win against UCD with his first hat-trick in the League of Ireland.
Rovers had to come from behind twice to get the win in Dublin, with Mata scoring in 21st minute, and then adding two from the penalty spot in the 69th and 82nd minutes.
Mata almost had a fourth goal for the match after putting the ball in the net after 12 minutes but having it disallowed for offside.
The Kiwi striker led the way with Rovers making full use of their 66% of ball possession and creating 20 attempts on goal.
The win came in Rovers’ second game of the season and gives them third place on the table after two rounds.
Main photo: Max Mata … his season is off to a flying start. Photo credit: Sligo Rovers FC.
Another New Zealander stood out in the side’s season opener, a 1-1 draw with Shamrock Rovers.
All Whites defender Nando Pijnaker was awarded Player of the Match for his performance.
Mata and Pijnaker joined Rovers last year and both featured in the side’s Europa Conference League campaign, with Mata scoring in the first qualifying round against Welsh side Bala Town.
Mata was named Rovers’ Young Player of the Year for 2022.
The Aucklander has missed New Zealand selection since making his All Whites debut against Lituania in November 2019.
READ MORE: Our previous stories about Max Mata >>>>
READ MORE: Our previous stories about Nando Pijnaker >>>>