Olunga and Coutinho got to link up for the first time since the Brazilian’s arrival in Qatar as both players inspired Al Duhail to get back to winning ways.
Harambee Stars captain Michael Olunga was back in the starting lineup and on the scoresheet as Al Duhail returned to winning ways after overcoming Al Markhiya 2-1 in a Qatari Stars League fixture played at the Al Janoub Stadium on Thursday night.
Olunga, who was starting alongside former Barcelona and Liverpool star Philipe Coutinho for the first time in the league, had a decent outing, having failed to start each of the defending champions’ last three games.
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The Kenyan right winger joined Chelsea as an Under 10 and spent close to a decade with the Blues before he was deemed surplus to requirements.
The former Gor Mahia forward clocked 80 minutes, and although he got on the scoresheet from the penalty spot, he did miss another big chance that could have seen him walk away with a brace.
The 29-year-old made one key pass, won one out of three ground-attempted duels, was caught offside once, and also earned a booking.
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With this result, Al Duhail have now reached 10 points and sits third in the league, thanks in large part to Coutinho, who won the penalty for Olunga’s goal and then scored the winner himself.
Al Duhail took the lead in the 16th minute through the Harambee Stars captain from a penalty kick.
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Al Markhiya equalized in the 24th minute through Driss Fettouhi, which kept things open and very interesting.
The game effectively became a damp squib, but after four minutes of stoppage time ahead of the break, Coutinho scored the second and winning goal from a free kick.
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In the second half, Al Duhail continued pushing forward, seeking to get the third goal that would have buried the match as Al Markhiya players retreated.
Al Duhail controlled the ball during the second half, which left Al Markhiya resorting to relying on counter-attacks until the referee blew his whistle for full-time.
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Mwendwa has revealed that it was tough to convince the panel of fifteen voters to award them the hosting rights for the tournament, admitting they hardly slept a wink trying to come up with valid points to back their bid.
Olunga is now third in the Golden Boot race with five goals, two behind former Porto star Yacine Brahimi who has scored seven goals and leads the race.