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Olunga: Kenya striker returns with a goal as Kashiwa Reysol sink Gamba Osaka

Olunga: Kenya striker returns with a goal as Kashiwa Reysol sink Gamba Osaka

The towering striker grabbed another goal as his side roared to a comfortable league win to keep fifth spot on the table

Kenya international Michael Olunga returned to action and was on the scoresheet as Kashiwa Reysol hammered Gamba Osaka 3-0 in a J1-League match played on Wednesday.

The former Gor Mahia striker had missed two straight matches for Resyol – against Shimizu S-Pulse in a 2-1 win and also the J-League Cup match against their top-tier rivals Osaka Cerezo on September 2.

However, the Kenyan player was reinstated into the starting squad against Osaka and did not take time to settle as he powered home the opener in the second minute of the match.

The towering striker received a defense-splitting pass, rounded up the Osaka defenders before sneaking a left-footed striker past the keeper for the opening goal, his 15th of the season.

Ataru Esaka then wrapped up the game for Reysol after he notched a double in the 40th and 62nd minutes for the 3-0 win.

The win enabled Kashiwa Reysol to keep fifth spot on the 18-team table with 26 points from 15 matches while Osaka remain in position eight on 23 points from 14 matches.

Kenya are looking upon the former Gor Mahia and Thika United star to lead their onslaught against Africa Cup of Nations qualification rivals Comoros later this year.

In a recent interview, the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa praised Olunga for his exploits in Japan as he revealed the federation is lining up two friendly matches before facing Comoros.

“We must hold such friendlies because we need to gauge how fit our players are. But I am happy [Michael] Olunga is scoring goals in Japan and I think, he is one of the best in the world now,” Mwendwa told NTV.

The FKF top official also explained how Kenya can evolve into a regular Afcon competitor after featuring in the previous editions intermittently.

“We need to develop grassroots football so that they can feed the senior teams. I am happy our sponsors have agreed to stay with us and help push our vision in that regard,” he said.

“We need many U17s and U20s so that we can revive football across the country.

“For our football to stabilise we will have to look at the aspect of finance. That is where we have a lot of problems and if this is sorted even the national team will see success, qualify for World Cup and be a regular Afcon contestant.”

Olunga’s Resyol will next face Sagan Tosu on Sunday.

Published at Wed, 09 Sep 2020 12:49:43 +0000

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