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The forward scored his 28th goal of the season as he closes in on the Golden Boot award in his maiden appearance in Japan’s top-tier

Kenya international Michael Olunga scored yet again in J1 League action on Saturday as Kashiwa Reysol went down 3-2 to Kawasaki Frontale on Saturday.

Olunga gave Kashiwa Reysol the lead before Yusuke Segawa made it 2-0 but the champions rallied back and earned goals from Akihiro Lenga and Leandro Dameao.

The former Thika United star got his 28th goal in the 14th minute when he was picked in an advanced position, negotiated his way past one marker and beat Kawasaki Frontale’s goalkeeper Jung Sung-Ryong to slot home under no pressure.

Segawa doubled the lead in the 46th minute for Kashiwa Reysol before Lenaga scored the visitors’ first two minutes later. Damiao equalised in the 55th minute before Lenaga registered his double in the 81st minute.

Olunga is on course to win the Golden Boot after missing from the J2 League when he finished the season as the runners’ up in the race.

The former Tusker striker carried his stellar form to the first division where he has already scored one more goal than he managed in the J2 League.

“I knew it was going to be a tough year especially having scored 27 goals in the previous season, a lot was expected from me. I came prepared, ready to work hard,” Olunga said previously in anticipation of challenges in the top-tier.

Since the 26-year-old striker was named in the October team of the month when he scored six goals – of which four of them came from two matches, he has remained in good form through November and now December.  The centre-forward was on target twice when Kashiwa Reysol defeated Yokohama FC 3-0 on October 3.

He also registered a brace against Vissel Kobe on October 10 as his side picked up a 4-3 win against the league rivals. His stellar form also saw him get a goal against Shonan Bellmare on October 18 and the last goal of that month came against Gamba Osaka, although there was Kashiwa Reysol on October 24.

The former Gor Mahia star was not available for Kenya’s Africa Cup of Nations November qualifiers against Comoros. Harambee Stars were consequently denied vital points by the Islanders after a 1-1 home draw and a 2-1 away loss.

JS Kabyle’s Masoud Juma, who scored in Nairobi, and John Makwatta of Zesco United were deployed against Comoros in the absence of the towering striker.

Kashiwa Reysol will conclude the season with a game against Tokyo FC on January 4 as Olunga hopes to wrap the Golden Boot race. His closest challenger Everaldo Stum of Kashima Antlers has 18 goals.

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December 19, 2020
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