Olunga strikes but Kashiwa Reysol go down to bottom-placed Shonan Bellmare
The former Gor Mahia star coincidentally got his 22nd goal in the 22nd minute as he widened the gap in the Golden Boot race in Japan
Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga scored again in the J1 League but his Kashiwa Reysol went down 3-2 against bottom-placed Shonan Bellmare on Sunday.
Olunga’s form has seen him open a wide gap between him and the Golden Boot rivals as he continues to register goals more regularly in his maiden season in the top-tier.
Takuya Okamoto scored the opener for Shonan Bellmare in the fourth minute with an assist from Akimi Barada. The Harambee Star added to his tally when he scored in the 22nd minute to equalise for the visitors with Cristiano da Silva turning out to be the assist maker.
Kashiwa Reysol went ahead in the seventh minute after the restart of the second half when Yuta Kamiya struck when he was put through by Ataru Esaka.
Shonan Bellmare equalised in the 78th minute when Temma Matsuda found the back of the net with an assist from Tarik Elyounoussi. Naoki Ishihara then added the third for the home side with Takuya Okamoto playing a big role in the process.
Olunga has been in impressive goal-scoring form in the J1 League after he scored a brace to help Kashiwa Reysol down Vissel Kobe 4-3 on October 10.
It was the second straight time that the former Tusker and Thika United striker scored a league brace as he had achieved the same feat against Yokohama FC on October 1.
Everaldo Stum of Kashima Antlers and Yu Kobayashi of Kasawaki Frontale are Olunga’s close challenges with 12 goals each.
As Olunga races clear in the Golden Boot competition, a number of Kenyan pundits and former stars have asked him to join another league.
“Olunga has already conquered Japan and he is now ripe for a better challenge,” former AFC Leopards player Charles Okwemba said in a previous interview with Goal.
“If he wants to continue developing and grow career-wise, he has no option but to move.
“He is still young and at his peak, he should be competing with the best in the world. I believe in his ability and potential; it is time for him to risk it in top leagues and I am confident he will prevail.”