Michael Olunga begins hunt for Asian Champions League history with Al Duhail

©Michael Olunga Facebook.

STARS ABROAD Michael Olunga begins hunt for Asian Champions League history with Al Duhail

Joel Omotto 07:38 - 19.09.2023
Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga has the chance to set another record for his Qatari side Al Duhail if he scores in Tuesday’s Asian Champions League opener

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga will start the chase for another milestone with Qatar Stars League (QSL) champions Al Duhail as they begin their Asian Champions League campaign in Tajikistan.

Al Duhail will play away to Istiklal with Olunga on the cusp of history for the Qatari champions in the competition as he is just one goal shy of equaling the record of 16 scored by former striker Youssef Al Arabi.

Olunga has 15 Champions League goals, having netted nine in the competition last season, and can surpass Al Arabi’s record in the absence of the injured Edmilson Da Silva, who has 13 for the club, with the now retired Korean Nam Tae Hee the other top scorer, having scored 14.

The Kenya international has already scored four goals in three league matches this season and based on this plus his tally of 40 goals from 38 games in all competitions last season, few will bet against him breaking the record.

Al Duhail reached the Champions League semi-final in 2022-23 and pressure is on Hernan Crespo to ensure his charges go one better this time but they are in a tricky group that also includes Cristiano Ronaldo and Sadio Mane-led Al-Nassr from Saudi Arabia as well as Persepolis FC from Iran.

Crespo’s men were recently boosted by the signing of Brazilian attacking midfielder Philippe Coutinho who is being counted upon to provide the creativity needed and he could end up forming a lethal partnership with Olunga.

This is the 12th Champions League appearance for Al Duhail who have not missed any edition since the 2012-13 season.

Al Duhail’s best run of results in the competition came in the 2018 edition, when they won nine straight matches.