Kenyan International Michael Olunga scored the second goal as his side Kashiwa Reysol’s beat fancied Vissel Kobe 3-2 in a J1 league match on Wednesday.
Olunga took his season tally to 12 goals in 11 games, remaining firmly at the top of the J1 scoring charts with the next player, Kashima Antlers’ Everaldo, on 7 goals.
He also set a new record in the process; becoming the first Reysol player, and the first Kenyan, to score in seven consecutive J1 league games.
Kobe, despite having the likes of Champions League-winning Spain legend Andres Iniesta and Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen, were unable to secure a win against a hungry Kashiwa side.
Kashiwa came back from a goal down after Goke scored the opener for Kobe at the end of the first half.
Kashiwa’s Nakama settled matters after the break, scoring in the 46th minute to make it 1-1. Olunga then put Reysol in the lead when he scored in the 77th minute.
Assisted by Toshima, Olunga used his physicality to get past two defenders in the final third, racing into the box and firing a shot past the keeper.
Kobe, however, were determined not to lose at home and equalized in the 89th minute.
All three points, however, went to Kashiwa as Mihara scored the winner in the dying minutes of extra-time in what was a nail-biter for many fans.
The performance came amid transfer interest in Olunga from clubs including Lens in France and Besiktas in Turkey.
Turkish giants Besiktas are said to be leading the pack in the hunt for Olunga’s signature to bolster their attacking options. His incredible form since last season when he led Kashiwa Reysol to promotion from the J2 league did not go unnoticed by scouts at the club who have been monitoring him.
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Part of the appeal for Olunga in any potential deal with Besiktas will be the chance to play Uefa Champions League football with the club.
Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga is on fire scored his 12th goal of the season, as Kashiwa Reysol beat Vissel Kobe 3-2 in the J1-League match today