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Michael Olunga (born 26 March 1994) is a Kenyan professional footballer who plays for Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol and the Kenya national team as a forward.

Michael Olunga
Olunga, jugador del Girona FC (cropped).jpg
Olunga with Girona in 2017
Personal information
Full name Michael Olunga Ogada[1]
Date of birth (1994-03-26) 26 March 1994 (age 25)
Place of birth Nairobi, Kenya
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Forward
Club information
Current team
Kashiwa Reysol
Number 26
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012–2016 Liberty Sports Academy ? (32)
2013Tusker (loan) 15 (3)
2014Thika United (loan) 26 (9)
2015Gor Mahia (loan) 27 (19)
2016 Djurgårdens IF 27 (12)
2017–2018 Guizhou Zhicheng 9 (2)
2017–2018Girona (loan) 14 (3)
2018– Kashiwa Reysol 10 (3)
National team
2015– Kenya 36 (17)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 7 January 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:33, 28 June 2019 (UTC)

Contents

Club careerEdit

Early career and Gor MahiaEdit

While still a student at the Upper Hill School, Olunga began his career with the Liberty Sports Academy in the Nairobi County League. He scored 32 goals for the side during the 2012 season, helping them finish the season unbeaten and earn promotion to the Nairobi Provincial League.[2][3] He made headlines when he scored seven goals in a single match helping his team to an 8–0 win.[4]

Initially reported to be attending trials in France, Olunga signed for Kenyan Premier League side Tusker on a one-year loan deal from Liberty on 19 December 2012.[5]

After finishing the 2013 season with two goals for Tusker, Olunga was loaned to fellow Premier League side Thika United for another year,[6] before joining Gor Mahia before the beginning of the 2015 season.[7] He finished the season as the club's top scorer in the league with 19 goals to help the side win a record 15th league title without losing a single match, including the second goal in a 2–0 win over Muhoroni Youth on their final league match of the season.[8]

DjurgårdenEdit

On 17 February 2016, Olunga joined Swedish side Djurgårdens IF on a four-year contract, after joining the team's pre-season training camp on trial.[9][10] He scored his first two goals for Djurgården on 8 August 2016 against IFK Göteborg in a 3–1 win.[11] He was also named man of the match[12] and Djurgården coach Mark Dempsey praised him for his match winning heroics.[13] In the next match Olunga scored once again in the 2–2 draw versus IF Elfsborg at the Tele2 Arena.[14][15] On 27 August, he scored the match-winning goal against Gefle with a volley in the 86th minute. In the last 12 games of the Allsvenskan Olunga scored 12 goals which earned him a fifth place in the Allsvenskan top scorer table.[16] He was nominated for Newcomer of the year in Swedish football by a jury of Allsvenskan coaches and Swedish journalists as well as the coaches of the Swedish national teams. The prize later went to Alexander Isak.

On 10 November 2016, Kenyan football site Soka reported that Djurgården had turned down offers on Olunga from La Liga side Betis, Lokeren, Belgium champions Club Brugge and Swedish champions Malmö FF.[17]

Guizhou ZhichengEdit

In 2017, Olunga joined Chinese club Guizhou Zhicheng.

Girona (loan)Edit

On 1 September 2017, Olunga was loaned to La Liga side Girona FC, for one year.[18] On 13 January 2018, he made his La Liga debut against Las Palmas scoring a hat-trick in the span of 22 minutes during a 6–0 win, becoming both the first Kenyan player and the first Girona player to score a hat-trick in La Liga.[19]

Kashiwa ReysolEdit

On 10 August 2018, Olunga joined Japanese club Kashiwa Reysol. He made his league debut in a 2–0 loss to Júbilo Iwata on 19 August 2018. He scored his first goal for the club in a 5–1 league victory over V-Varen Nagasaki on 25 August.

International careerEdit

Olunga made his debut for the Kenya national team in a friendly against Seychelles at the Stade Linité in Victoria on 28 March 2015.[20] He scored his first goal for the Harambee Stars in a friendly against South Sudan which resulted in a 2–0 win. On 27th July 2019,during the 2019 AFCON Olunga scored a double to complete a comeback against Tanzania.The first which was the equalizer,was a spectacular overhead kick while the second, the winner was a powerful left-footed shot from the outside of the 18 yard box and off the woodwork.

International goalsEdit

Scores and results list Kenya's goal tally first.[21]
No Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 7 June 2015 Amahoro Stadium, Kigali, Rwanda   South Sudan 2–0 2–0 Friendly
2. 30 May 2015 National Heroes Stadium, Lusaka, Zambia   Zambia 1–0 1–2 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
3. 7 October 2015 Stade Anjalay, Belle Vue Maurel, Mauritius   Mauritius 5–2 5–2 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
4. 13 November 2015 Nairobi City Stadium, Nairobi, Kenya   Cape Verde 1–0 1–0 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification
5. 22 November 2015 Addis Ababa Stadium, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia   Uganda 2–0 2–0 2015 CECAFA Cup
6. 25 November 2015 Awassa Kenema Stadium, Awassa, Ethiopia   Burundi 1–1 1–1
7. 4 October 2016 Stade des Martyrs, Kinshasa, DR Congo   DR Congo 1–0 1–0 Friendly
8. 23 March 2017 Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, Kenya   Uganda 1–0 1–1
9. 26 March 2017   DR Congo 1–0 2–1
10. 2–1
11. 10 June 2017 National Stadium, Freetown, Sierra Leone   Sierra Leone 1–2 1–2 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
12. 5 October 2017 Basra Sports City, Basra, Iraq   Iraq 1–2 1–2 Friendly
13. 27 March 2018 Stade de Marrakech, Marrakesh, Morocco   Central African Republic 2–3 2–3
14. 14 October 2018 Moi International Sports Centre, Nairobi, Kenya   Ethiopia 1–0 3–0 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualification
15. 15 June 2019 Centro Deportivo Santa Ana, Madrid, Spain   DR Congo 1–0 1–1 Friendly
16. 27 June 2019 30 June Stadium, Cairo, Egypt   Tanzania 1–1 3–2 2019 Africa Cup of Nations
17. 3–2

Personal lifeEdit

Olunga studied geospatial engineering at the Technical University of Kenya, where he enrolled in 1990 and pursued a Bachelor of Engineering degree. For this reason, he is regularly known as "The Engineer" by Kenyan football fans.[22] He has stated that he looks up to Dutch striker Robin van Persie as a role model.[23]

HonoursEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Michael Olunga". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 14 January 2018.
  2. ^ Patrick Korir (2 November 2012). "Schools' MVP heading to France". Futaa.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  3. ^ Wilson Mathu (29 November 2012). "Promoted Liberty embrace the challenge". Futaa.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  4. ^ Opiyo, Vincent. "Olunga rakes in millions from Djurgardens deal".
  5. ^ Patrick Korir (19 December 2012). "Liberty loans Schools' MVP to Tusker". Futaa.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  6. ^ Mercy Njueh (31 January 2014). "Thika United sign Michael Olunga". Futaa.com. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  7. ^ Mercy Njueh (7 January 2015). "Wafula, Olunga set for Gor move". Futaa.com. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  8. ^ Seth Willis (1 November 2015). "Gor Mahia 2-0 Muhoroni Youth: Unbeaten K'Ogalo". Goal.com. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Klart: "Ingenjören" till Djurgården - fyraårskontrakt påskrivet" (in Swedish). Fotbollskanalen Europa. 17 February 2016. Retrieved 17 February 2016.
  10. ^ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/football/35598506
  11. ^ "Finally…Olunga ends goal drought in Sweden". Goal Kenya. 8 August 2016. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  12. ^ Opiyo, Vincent. "Olunga on a brace as Djurgardens thumps Gotenborg".
  13. ^ Gacharira, Samuel. "Dempsey full of praise for Olunga".
  14. ^ http://www.soka.co.ke/stars-abroad/item/olunga-on-the-mark-again-as-elfsborg-hold-djurgardens
  15. ^ "Olunga on target again as Swedish side held". Goal.com Kenya edition. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  16. ^ "Klart: Skytteligan 2016" (in Swedish). fotbollssvenskan.se. 11 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  17. ^ "Klart: Skytteligan 2016". soka.co.ke. 10 November 2016. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  18. ^ "Olunga completa l'atac del Girona" [Olunga completes the attack of Girona] (in Catalan). Girona FC. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Michael Olunga open La Liga goal account with a hat-trick | Goal.com". Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  20. ^ Vincent Opiyo (1 April 2015). "Seychelles vs Kenya; Nine earn senior team debuts". Futaa.com. Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  21. ^ "Olunga, Michael". National Football Teams. Retrieved 9 February 2017.
  22. ^ "TU-K Student Causing Ripples in 2015 CECAFA Challenge". Technical University of Kenya. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  23. ^ "Olunga, the Footballing Engineer". Technical University of Kenya. Retrieved 1 November 2015.

External linksEdit