Letsoalo makes history on Bafana debut

SA National Teams

Victor Letsoalo set a host of national team records tumbling after netting a hat-trick on debut for South Africa against Lesotho at the 2021 COSAFA Cup.

Letsoalo (28) marked his first foray into international football in sublime style by scoring three goals on debut during Bafana Bafana's comprehensive 4-0 COSAFA Cup Group A victory over Lesotho on Tuesday afternoon.

Scroll through the gallery above to see the South African records Letsoalo broke or equalled on his debut

"I’m happy that I was able to score. I’m happy to have been given a chance to make South African’s smile especially with Covid-19 and the unrest in the country currently," the Bloemfontein Celtic star said following the match.

Upon scoring his hat-trick, Letsoalo became the first-ever player to net a treble on his first appearance for the national team and only the second overall after record-goalscorer Benni McCarthy, who famously netted four times against Namibia at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations.

His prolific display in front of goal also saw him write his name into the history books as the first South African player to score a hat-trick at the COSAFA Cup, while he is also now the nation's joint-highest goalscorer in the competition's history.

The former Baroka FC striker's three goals at this year's tournament have seen him draw level with Pollen Ndlanya, Patrick Mayo, Katlego Mphela, Teko Modise, Gift Motupa and Lebohang Maboe on the nation's all-time COSAFA Cup scoring charts.

With South Africa in action again against Zambia on Wednesday, and with the team having already secured its spot in the semi-final, Letsoalo will a have the opportunity to claim that record outright in the coming days, while he is also in line to take home the honour for the most goals at a single tournament for the country.

He currently shares that record with Modise, Motupa and Maboe, who scored three goals apiece at the 2007, 2016 and 2018 editions of the competition, respectively.

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