NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 27 – Michael Olunga continued with his rich vein of form in the Japanese J-1 league scoring a hattrick as his side Kashiwa Reysol thrashed Vegalta Sendai 5-1 to take his season tally to eight and sitting top of the goal scorer’s chart.
Olunga should have had four but had a goal disallowed.
He still went on to score in the 40th minute with a neat header before adding two more in the second half. Hayato Nakama had opened the scoring in the 20th minute before Olunga came through with the hattrick.
Substitute Yusuke Segawa put the icing on the cake with the fifth goal four minutes from time.
The former Gor Mahia and Tusker FC forward had struggled after the restart, with Reysol losing three matches on the trot. But he has managed to bounce back scoring six goals in three consecutive matches.
He has now scored eight league goals in seven matches and nine in all competitions this season and is miles clear in the golden boot hunt. The second-best scorer in the league, Sapporo’s Suzuki Musashi has scored four.
In England, uncapped left back Clarke Oduor perhaps had the biggest weekend of his life, coming off the bench to score the winner in added time to help his side Barnsley escape relegation from the Championship.
Barnsley were held at 1-1 against promotion chasers Brentford and were staring at the chop. However, Oduor who has had limited playing time since the restart stepped off the bench in the 86th minute to tap in the winner five minutes after his introduction.
The goal helped Barnsley secure three points that hoisted them off the chop zones where they survived relegation by a point.
The leftback who came through the youth ranks at Leeds United since he was 10 years old is yet to be capped by the national team, though head coach Francis Kimanzi is keen to give him a run in for the upcoming international fixtures.
In the United States, Harambee Stars skipper Victor Wanyama impressed once again but it wasn’t enough as his side Impact Montreal lost 1-0 to Orlando in the MLS Is Back Tournament round of 16 in Florida.
Wanyama has provided assured performances for Thierry Henry’s side, but they have been unfortunate not to conjure results. They will now switch their attention to the league.
Elsewhere in Sweden, Eric Johannah also scored for a second consecutive match as his side Jonkopings Sodra beat Brage 2-0 to move second in the second tier Superettan league.
The former Mathare United midfielder who also clocked full minutes scored the second for Sodra in the 54th minute after Moustafa Zeidan had broken the deadlock in the first half from the penalty spot.
He has so far played in all eight matches for his new club, starting in six and coming on as a substitute in two.
In Georgia, both Alwyn ‘Chambi’ Tera and Amos Nondi clocked full minutes for their clubs. Tera was on the pitch as his side Saburtalo moved to third in the standings with a 4-0 victory over Torpedo Kutaisi.
Nondi also clocked full minutes as his club DIla Gori maintained top spot in the standings despite a 1-1 draw at home with Dinamo Batumi.
In Tanzania, goalkeeper Faruk Shikalo kept a clean sheet as Yanga SC beat Lipuli 1-0 in their final league match of the season. Shikalo will now hope Simba SC clinch the FA Cup for his side to earn a spot at next season’s CAF Confederations Cup after finishing second in the league.
Meanwhile, Francis Kahata also had play time as Simba finished their league campaign with a 2-0 victory over Polisi Tanzania. Kahata played a role for Simba’s second goal, making a dummy that created room for skipper John Bocco to score his second goal.
Elsewhere, coach Francis Baraza led his side Biashara United to a ninth-place finish after a 2-0 victory over relegated Singida United.