July 29, 2021

Lamushi tips Olunga to shine at Al Duhail SC despite slow debut

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The tactician has said the towering striker will be a key player for his team when he settles well in the Middle East

Al Duhail SC coach Sabri Lamushi has backed Kenya striker Michael Olunga to fit into his style of play well after sealing his transfer to the club.

The 26-year-old striker was officially unveiled on Saturday night, three days after he had made his debut for the team in a 3-1 Qatar Stars League defeat against Al Sadd.

Olunga played for 67 minutes with Algeria star Baghdad Bounedjah scoring a hat-trick in the fixture as the Xavi-led team claimed maximum points.

Despite playing for the team almost a day after landing in Qatar, Olunga should have scored on his debut after he missed a glancing header in the 20th minute.

Duhail coach Lamushi has now backed the former Gor Mahia striker to come good after adapting well with his colleagues.

“The player Michael [Olunga] made the first match with the team against Al Sadd and did not show his known scoring prowess, but he will add to the team and he is the top scorer in the Japanese League and is also trying to adapt with his colleagues,” Lamushi told the club’s official website.

The tactician further said his team must respond and return to winning ways when they face Qatar Club.

“A difficult match awaits us in front of Qatar Club and we must compensate for our loss against Al Sadd, and we know very well that Qatar Club play very well but we must respond strongly in order to compensate for the recent loss,” he added.

Olunga played for two seasons in Japan with Reysol and managed to finish as the top scorer in the 2020 J1 League season with 28 goals, winning the Golden Boot and the 2020 MVP, becoming the first African player to win the J-League MVP award.

On Saturday, Al Duhail confirmed the signing of the former Gor Mahia striker on a three-year contract, and following his switch to the Middle East, Olunga has joined former Morocco captain Medhi Benatia in Sabri Lamouchi’s team as they compete for the top-flight title.

“The club’s management have succeeded in signing a contract with the top scorer in the Japanese League, with a professional contract for three seasons, coming from Kashiwa Reysol,” the club statement read.

Al Duhail are second on the league table with 27 points from 14 matches, and they trail leaders Al Sadd by 11 points.

On Saturday, Al Duhail were guaranteed a spot in the Fifa Club World Cup for the first time in their history following Auckland City’s withdrawal due to coronavirus restrictions in New Zealand.

Olunga will be targeting his first victory in Qatar when Al Duhail visit Qatar SC for their next Stars League fixture on Tuesday.