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New Zealand defender scores hat-trick of own goals, gets subbed off before half-time

There are bad days in the office, and then there’s the kind of day New Zealand defender Meikayla Moore had on the pitch last Sunday.

Moore, 25, was playing for her national side against the US in the SheBelievesCup when she achieved a rare feat of scoring a perfect hat-trick of own goals. 

All three goals were “scored” in the first 36 minutes.

Remarkably as well, her trio of own goals formed a perfect hat-trick – one header and one with each foot.

The first came in the 5th minute when she stuck out a right boot to try to clear a cross by Sophia Smith. The ball flicked off Moore's foot at the near post and defected into the net.

Own goal number two was the header and it arrived just 81 seconds after the first. Moore beat Catarina Macario to a cross, only to do the USA striker's job for her.

One of the most bizarre hat-tricks in international football history was completed on 36 minutes when Moore got caught flat-footed and diverted Margaret Purce's low cross home with her left boot.

Moore, who was making her 50th appearance for New Zealand, had her nightmare put to an end when she was subbed off five minutes before half-time.

USA defender Ali Krieger, who did not feature in the game, tweeted at full time to say she was proud of her teammates.

But Krieger also showed sympathy for the game's top scorer by adding: "I do have to say my heart goes out to Moore.

"This beautiful game can be cruel sometimes and today doesn't define her! I can’t imagine the pressure she feels atm and I hope she's okay."

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