Goal Fest: Olunga becomes the first Kenyan to score hat-trick in Spain

Girona's Michael Olunga celebrates after scoring against Las Palmas in a LaLiga match on January 13, 2018. [Courtesy]

Kenyan international forward Michael 'Engineer' Olunga opened his Spanish La Liga goal account with a stylish hat-trick in Girona FC's 6-0 demolition of Las Palmas yesterday in a stunning second half display after coming in as a substitute.

Olunga, who made a loan move to the Catalan club from Chinese side Guizhou Zhicheng last year, scored three goals in a span of 22 minutes after coming in the 48th minute to aid Girona to a win and a ninth place in the league table which is topped by Barcelona, another Catalan club.

His goals made him the first Kenyan and first Girona player to score a hat trick in La Liga.

The Harambee Stars striker netted his first in the 57th minute, capping a flowing move and sweeping home a left-footed finish from a tight angle at six yards after holding off a Las Palmas defender, to double Girona's lead.

His striking partner Christian Stuani had given them the lead from the spot in the 25th minute.

Olunga's second, in the 70th minute, was a testament to the big man's poaching instincts after he pounced on a bungled back pass after the opposition goalkeeper dithered on the ball, again calmly slotting the ball into an empty net.

The man of the match then provided the assist for the fifth goal after dispossessing a defender and making a weighted pass onto the path of the onrushing Portu who calmly chipped the keeper.

The third goal came when Olunga reacted fast after the opposing goalkeeper made an instinctive save only for the ball to bounce off the bar and head back into the six yard area. The former Gor Mahia striker was at hand to tap in the historic goal.

Girona's Borja Garcia and Portu contributed a goal each in the 64th and 74th minutes respectively. Girona moved to a joint ninth place with Getafe on 26 points, though the latter have a superior goal advantage.

Olunga has been confined to the bench for the better part of this season since his move to La Liga from the Chinese Super League last August.

Kenyans will however hope that yesterday's showing where Olunga was an integral part of the Girona FC team that outplayed, out thought and out maneuvered their opposition will be enough to convince coach Pablo Machin to give him more starts.

According to OptaSports, Girona FC yesterday equaled their biggest ever win at home in their history (6-0 vs Avilés in 1958).

Leaders Barcelona are top of the table with 48 points while defending champions, Real Madrid, who went down to Villareal yesterday, are fourth on 32 points.

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