Hamdou Elhouni’s heroics against Al Sadd on Tuesday saw him equal a Club World Cup’s feat achieved by Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, and Gareth Bale.
The Libya international found the net thrice as Esperance finished fifth in the championship after a convincing 6-2 triumph over Al Sadd at Doha's Khalifa International Stadium.
And with his striking performance, he becomes the fourth player to score at least three goals in a game in the competition’s history.
4 - Hamdou Elhouni is only the fourth player in FIFA Club World Cup history to score a hat-trick after Luis Suarez (2015), Cristiano Ronaldo (2016) and Gareth Bale (2018). Esteemed. pic.twitter.com/fFyzaMF4Ex— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 17, 2019
Al Sadd played the majority of the tie with a man down following Sameh Derbali’s dismissal for blocking a goal-bound shot with his hand.
While Elhouni got a hat-trick, Anice Badri scored a brace as Sameh Derbali's 87th-minute goal completed the damage.
Baghdad Bounedjah and Hassan Al Haydos salvaged some pride for Xavi’s team, both scoring from the penalty spot, but it could not turn the game their way.
Liverpool are participating in the competition following their Champions League success last season.
They begin their quest for honour when they take on Mexico’s Monterrey in the second semi-final on Wednesday.
The winners will tackle Flamengo in Saturday’s final. The Brazilians defeated Al Hilal 3-1 thanks to goals from Giorgian Daniel De Arrascaeta, Bruno Henrique and Ali Hadi Al-Bulaihi's own goal.