Di Natale's hat-trick salvages draw for Udinese

Rome, May 18 (IANS): Antonio Di Natale scored a hat-trick to salvage a 3-3 draw for Udinese against Sampdoria in the Italian Serie A.

Di Natale, 36, scored twice Saturday to negate Stefano Okaka's opener before hitting a late equaliser, reports Xinhua.

Sampdoria, which ended this season a point and a place above Udinese, responded to Di Natale's strikes by grabbing second-half goals through Eder and Roberto Soriano.

The visitors were rampant for 10 early minutes and went ahead as Okaka opened the scoring.

The former Roma striker met a cross from Manolo Gabbiadini and stooped forward to head the ball beyond Zeljko Brkic.

Di Natale got past Sampdoria goalkeeper Vincenzo Fiorillo for the first time in the 26th minute by steering a pinpoint free-kick into the top corner to bring about his 15th goal of the season.

Six minutes later, he made it 2-1 after Roberto Pereyra slided the ball across the box for Di Natale to convert with ease.

The visitors equalised eight minutes after the restart with Okaka helping Eder beat Brkic with a low finish.

Then they went ahead again in the 55th minute as Okaka again provided the assist as Soriano swept up his pass to knock the ball beyond Brkic with his left foot.

Di Natale completed his hat-trick with two minutes to go when substitute Pawel Wszolek offered him an easy chance to convert his treble.

The striker hinted that he could delay his retirement.

"It's a shame the season is ending now, as I am in good physical shape and enjoying myself, but we'll see, I'll try to continue. I hope to continue," he said.


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Title: Di Natale's hat-trick salvages draw for Udinese

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