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Olunga wins Asian Champions League Golden Boot

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | November 24th 2021
Kenya's forward Michael Olunga celebrates scoring his team's third goal during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) football match between Kenya and Tanzania at the Stadium in Cairo on June 27, 2019. (AFP)

Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga was on Wednesday crowned the 2021 Asian Football Confederation (ACL) Champions League top scorer after the conclusion of the league which Saudi Arabia's Al Hilal lifted after defeating Korean side Pohang Steelers 2-0 in the finals.

Olunga, who features for Al Duhail in Qatar scored nine goals in the 40-team tournament held between April 14 and November 23 this year. All his goals came in Group “C” of the West Region held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Olunga’s feat of nine goals in six games makes him the first Kenyan and Al Duhail player to win the prestigious award, scoring in every group stage game with his goals coming from set-pieces, distance, inside the area or via headers.

The striker scored one goal each against Al Duhail's two opening matches against Al Shorta (36th minute) and Al Ahli Saudi (53rd minute).

This was then followed by a first ACL hat-track for the Qatari club on match day three.

Against Esteghlal, Olunga was on target in the 10th, 27th and 85th minutes as Al Duhail beat the Iranian side 4-3

He then added a brilliant brace against Esteghlal (45+3 pen, 58th) on match day Four.

His brace was cancelled out by goals from Cheick Diabate and Mehdi Ghaedi as Esteghlal and Al Duhail  played out a 2-2 draw.

On Matchday Five, Olunga scored in the 57th minute against Al Shorta but the Qatari side lost the match 2-1.

Finally, Al Ahli Saudi FC and Al Duhail played out a 1-1 draw on Matchday Six, ending both teams’ chances of qualification to the Round of 16 despite Olunga's strike in the 73rd minute.

In the top scorer’s charts, Olunga finished his first ever AFC Champions League campaign one goal ahead of Brazilian Gustavo from Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors who was followed closely by team-mate Modou Barrow from Gambia (six goals).

Al Duhail are also in the 2022 Champions League after completing the 2021-2022 Qatar Stars League in second place behind Al Sadd.

Olunga’s feat comes barely a day after former Harambee Stars captain Victor Wanyama captain his side to Voyageurs Cup victory in US.

Wanyama capped off the 2021 season on a high note after helping CF Montreal win the Voyageurs Cup by defeating Toronto FC 1-0 in the Canadian Championship final Sunday.

The win saw Montreal celebrate a first Canadian Championship title at Stade Saputo since 2014.

The former Tottenham Hotspurs star featured for the entire 90 minutes to help his side finish the season with a trophy at Stade Saputo Stadium and also book a place in the 2022 Concacaf Champions League.

 

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