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Michael Olunga: Kenyans Question Al Duhail Striker’s Prowess After Qatar’s Embarrassing Defeat to Ecuador
- Michael Olunga's goalscoring record has been put under intense scrutiny by Kenyan football fans after Qatar's lethargic display at the World Cup
- Olunga has been on a fine scoring run in Qatari where he plays for one of the major clubs, Al Duhail
- But after Qatar's defeat, Kenyans are now asking whether the Harambee Stars captain is really good or is playing in a low-class league
Qatar's embarrassing defeat in their first-ever World Cup match raised more questions than answers. Qatar became the first host country to lose their opening game after going 2-0 down to Ecuador on Sunday 20th, November.
The fact that they had been holed up in camp for more than three months doesn't help Head Coach Felix Sanchez's case. Sanchez is now under immense pressure with Qatar's remaining opponents, the perceived bigwigs of the group.
Amidst the back and forth regarding the opening game, Kenyan fans waded into the debate with Michael Olunga's name repeatedly brought up.
Olunga, who is also the national team captain, plies his professional trade with Qatari side Al Duhail where he has enjoyed immense success since joining them last year from Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol.
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After Qatar's lethargic display, many questioned whether Olunga was truly the prolific striker many thought he was, while others leapt to his defence. Olunga has nearly averaged a goal in every match he has played for Al Duhail.
"Olunga scores 200 goals a season in Qatar, that should’ve been the first red flag."
"After watching the 2022 World cup opening game, Kenyans have now discovered why Micheal Olunga has been scoring hat tricks and why Xavi has taken Barcelona to the Europa twice"
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While @KamauWaMWangi said
"Do not let Qatar's poor game make you underrate our son Michael Olunga. He is one of the best in the world.":
Is Olunga really overrated?
Qatar's defeat notwithstanding, Olunga has thrived in almost every league he has graced. A product of the famous Liberty Sports Academy, Olunga joined record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia after stints at Tusker and Thika United.
It is at Gor Mahia that he properly introduced himself to Kenyans. He then moved abroad, where he played in Sweden, Spain, China, Japan and currently, Qatar.
His best moment in a Kenyan shirt came when he scored a brace against Tanzania at the Africa Cup of Nations in 2019 held in Egypt.
Olunga's goals in league games
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Qatar will be hoping to redeem her image when they face powerhouses Netherlands and Senegal in their subsequent games.
Nigerian legend explains why Qatar lost
Sports Brief had earlier reported that former Premier League superstar Jay-Jay Okocha has explained that the air conditioner at the Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor, might have affected players of the Qatar national team.
Qatar on Sunday, 20 November, began their campaign at the 2022 World Cup on a losing note when they were hammered 2-0 by Ecuador in the opening game of the competition.
Enner Valencia netted the two goals that condemned Qatar to a defeat in front of their fans.