Olunga nets hat-trick as Al Duhail cruise into quarter-finals

New signing Michael Olunga unleashed his true potential yesterday as the Kenyan forward’s hat-trick helped Al Duhail rout Al Ahli 6-0 in the last 16 match of the Amir Cup.

At the Grand Hamad Stadium, Olunga scored a sixth minute penalty before adding his second in the 43rd minute. He completed his hat-trick in the 69th minute. Edmilson Junior netted a brace in the 22nd and 90th minute, while Luiz Martin also found the net in the 78th minute.

In the quarter-finals Sabri Lamouchi’s men will face Al Shamal, who eliminated Qatar SC via penalties 3-2 earlier yesterday. In another last 16 match yesterday, Al Kharaitiyat beat hosts Al Wakrah 2-1.

Olunga – the 2020 J1 League Player of the Year and Golden Boot winner – was playing in his third match for Al Duhail, after joining from Japanese top side Kashiwa Reysol earlier this month. The Kenyan’s first goal for his new club came via a penalty. In the fourth minute, Dudu was brought down by Al Ahli midfielder Omid Ebrahimi just as he was about to aim at the post. Olunga stepped in to send the goalkeeper the wrong way with a powerful shot.

Al Ahli gifted the second goal for Duhail after Mohamed al-Naimi lost the ball in his own half. Dudu pounced on the mistake as he squared up the ball to Edmilson, who slotted home with a cool finish.

Olunga made it 3-0 two minutes from half time after heading the ball in from an Edmilson corner.

Olunga grabbed his hat-trick in the 69th minute before Luiz Martin Ceara made it 5-0 in the 78th minute. Things went from bad to worse for Al Ahli when Ghanaian defender John Benson was sent off five minutes from time, with Edmilson completing the rout in the 90th minute.

Duhail midfielder Assim Madibo, who was returning from injury, said: “It’s an important victory. Al Ahli are a good team and have been doing well in the league. But our players put in a very good show, considering we were held to a draw by Qatar SC in the league last week. This victory will boost our morale as we prepare for the FIFA Club World Cup.”

Earlier, second division side Al Shamal stunned Qatar SC at the Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium. Khaled Mansour and Youcef Belaili scored for Qatar SC in the 41st minute and 60th minute respectively, but a brace from Yannick Sagbo in the 5th and 67th minute took the game to extra time. Qatar SC’s Ahmed Fade missed the decisive penalty as Al Shamal players erupted in joy.

Later, Al Kharaitiyat took down Al Wakrah at the Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium. Al Wakrah is placed 10th in the QSL standings while Al Kharaitiyat are at the bottom. Abdennour Belhocini put Wakrah ahead at the stroke of time. But second half goals from Rachid Tiberkanine and Mohamed Osman sealed Kharaitiyat’s place in the last eight.

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