The Kenyan star got two goals as his Japanese club opened their top-flight campaign with a huge win to go top
Kenya international Michael Olunga opened his J1 League maiden campaign with a double for Kashiwa Reysol against Consadole Sapporo.
Kashiwa Reysol emerged victorious in the Saturday match at Sankyo Frontier Kashiwa Stadium as the 2018/19 J2 League champions harvested a 4-2 win.
In-form Ataru Esaka opened the scoring for Kashiwa Reysol in the 13th minute and returned with an assist in the 20th minute for Olunga’s first-ever goal in the Japanese top-flight.
Olunga had assisted Esaka in the opening goal as the duo proved to be a thorn in the flesh of Consadole Sapporo’s wobbly defence.
Esaka found the back of the net again in the 58th minute with an assist from Cristiano da Silva to give Kashiwa Reysol a healthy 3-0 lead just before the hour mark.
Olunga earned his brace in the 65th minute with an assist from Cristiano as Kashiwa Reysol ran riot in front of their home fans.
Two minutes after Olunga’s second goal, Consadole Sapporo scored their first one courtesy of Takuma Arano. Musashi Suzuki struck the second for the Sapporo-based club in the 76th minute.
The result means Olunga and his outfit are now at the top of J1 League table with a healthier goal difference separating them from Urawa Reds who are second.
Olunga will lead his side again in a Cup Group D match against Shonan Bellmare on February 26. The former Thika United and Gor Mahia striker already has a goal in the cup competition after netting the only goal against Gamba Osaka on February 16.
The Harambee Stars striker emerged the second top scorer in the J2 League following a stellar 2018/19 season that saw Kashiwa Reysol regain their top-flight status.
Only Leonardo Nascimento Lopes de Souza of Albirex Niigata, who led the scorer’s chart, bettered Olunga’s tally last season.