Japan midfielder Daichi Kamada is eager to break his goal drought in the Bundesliga after hitting a Europa League hat-trick inside 40 minutes to propel Eintracht Frankfurt to a 4-1 home victory over Salzburg in their last 32, first-leg tie.
Kamada has not scored in 17 Bundesliga games this season, but Thursday’s hat-trick gave him six goals in the Europa League, all in his last three games.
The Europa League’s joint top-scorer is now all the more determined to break his Bundesliga drought when mid-table Frankfurt host Union Berlin on Monday.
“Now I just want to finally score a goal in the Bundesliga,” Kamada said with a smile.
“I am happy about the three goals, but more so to be able to help the team. Everyone was up for it and played really well.”
The 23-year-old hit the opening goal after 12 minutes, then added a second just before the interval when he broke from the halfway-line, and wrapped up with a header just eight minutes into the second half.
Kamada then turned provider, starting the move which ended with Filip Kostic hitting Frankfurt’s fourth.
He became the third highest Japanese scorer in European club competition behind Shinji Kagawa, who scored 11 for Borussia Dortmund and Manchester United, and Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino who has so far also scored 11.
Makoto Hasebe (L) celebrates with Daichi Kamada (R) during Eintracht Frankfurt’s win over Salzburg in the Europa League on Thursday.
“Daichi Kamada played really well,” said his Frankfurt team-mate Makoto Hasebe, who is also a Japanese international.
“We have to be careful in the second leg and not switch off.
“We have shown as a team what we can do today, but the evening wasn’t perfect there are still things to improve,” added the ex-Frankfurt club captain.
Frankfurt goalkeeper Kevin Trapp has often been on the wrong end of Kamada’s finishing.
“Kamada scores even more goals in training than in the game. He scored the second one brilliantly,” said the Germany shot-stopper.
Frankfurt have been erratic in Germany’s top flight this season.
They hammered Bayern Munich 5-1 in Frankfurt last November and shocked title-contenders Leipzig 2-0 only to crash to a 4-0 defeat at Dortmund last Saturday to leave them 10th in the table.