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Olunga’s hatrick lifts Duhail against Esteghlal

Olunga’s hatrick lifts Duhail against Esteghlal

Kenyan international Michael Olunga grabbed a hat-trick as Al Duhail beat Iranian side Esteghlal FC 4-3 in a thrilling Asian Champions League match at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

The centre-forward, nicknamed Engineer, took matters into his own hands after the Iranian side had taken an early lead through Amir Motahari in the fourth minute.

Olunga leveled the scores in the 10th minute before putting the Qatari giants ahead just before the half-hour mark.

The see-saw affair saw Malian Cheick Diabate equalise for the Iranians in the 34th minute, but it was Sabri Lamouchi’s men who enjoyed a deserved 3-2 halftime lead thanks to an Abdullah Al-Ahrak goal two minutes before the break.

Former Qatari champions Al Duhail looked to be headed to their second victory in three matches until Esteghlal pegged them back with their third goal from Farshid Esmaeli in the 74th minute.

However, this time there was no denying Olunga victory as he notched the winner in the 85th minute from an Ismaeel Mohammad assist. Mohammad had come on for Al-Ahrak one minute after Esmaeli’s goal.

In their previous match, Al Duhail SC were held to a 1-1 draw by hosts Al Ahli Saudi at the same centralised location. The win puts Al Duhail’s campaign back on track as they now sit on top with seven points, one ahead of Esteghlal, whom they meet again on April 24.

For Olunga, that hattrick improves his goals tally to 14 in 18 matches in all competitions for Al Duhail.

The 27-year-old Kenyan striker has now bagged a hat-trick in Sweden,Spain and Japan

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