Michael Olunga makes Asian Champions League history with brace for Al Duhail

© Al Duhail X.

STARS ABROAD Michael Olunga makes Asian Champions League history with brace for Al Duhail

Joel Omotto 22:00 - 27.11.2023

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga scored twice as Qatar champions Al Duhail downed FC Istiklol from Tajikistan to make him the top scorer for his club in the AFC Champions League

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga made Asian Champions League history when he became Al Duhail's top scorer in the competition following his brace in their 2-0 win over Tajikistan champions FC Istiklol on Monday.

After a goalless first half, the Kenyan striker broke the deadlock just two minutes upon resumption with a glancing header to put Christophe Galtier’s men ahead and the home side held on until the 89th minute when Olunga doubled their advantage.

Against the run of play, Olunga connected with Ismaeel Mohammed’s cross to seal his brace with another header and hand Al Duhail their first win in the competition this season. 

That was his third goal in the competition this season but most importantly, it took his tally for his club to 18 in the Champions League, making him the top scorer for Al Duhail. 

The win does not improve Al Duhail’s chances of advancing from the group, however, as they are on four points, three behind Iranian side Persepolis who take on Al-Nassr in Monday’s late kick-off.

With only one game to go, the maximum Al Duhail can get is seven points and they will have to outscore the Iranians while hoping that they lose their two games for them to sneak through.

It has been a poor run for the Qatar champions, who reached the semi-final of the competition last season, starting with a goalless draw against FC Istiklol, before a 1-0 loss to Persepolis. That was followed by 4-3 and 3-2 losses to a Cristiano Ronaldo-led Al-Nassr of Saudi Arabia.

Olunga has, however, provided some spark with his three goals. He scored the third goal against Al-Nassr in the first leg before setting up Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho in the return match before Monday’s double.

Al Duhail went into the match without a number of key players with Countinho, French midfielder Ibrahima Diallo, Belgian winger Edmilson Junior, Brazil-born Qatari defender Luiz Martin, and his compatriot midfielder Karim Boudiaf all missing due to injury.

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