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Losing debut for Olunga as Al Duhail SC beaten by Al Saad in Super League

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The Harambee Stars forward featured for 65 minutes as he made his debut without a goal against the Xavi-led side 

Kenya striker Michael Olunga suffered a losing start to life in the Qatar Super League after his new club Al Duhail SC lost 3-1 against Al Saad on Tuesday.

The towering striker was handed a start after signing for the club on Monday and featured for the first 65 minutes before he was withdrawn with his team trailing 2-1 at that time.

Reports had emerged on Monday that Olunga had signed for the club and with no official unveiling, he was thrown straight into the starting line-up as they faced the Xavi-led side, who also had in their ranks Santi Carzola, formerly of Arsenal.

It was Olunga’s Duhail who took the lead in the 6th minute when captain Almoez Ali dusted himself after being fouled inside the box to convert from the penalty spot, sending the keeper the wrong way.

Saad responded almost immediately as Baghdad Bounedjah levelled matters with a fine finish in the 14th minute and added the second in the 50th minute before banging home the third and the winner in the 87th minute for his hat-trick of the night.

Olunga had a strong start in the first half as he missed a sitter in the 20th minute after his glancing header went wide. He was once again involved after he created space and beat three defenders ahead of him but his final shot was saved by the keeper.

Despite arriving in Qatar on Sunday, Olunga never looked tired or jetlagged as he was involved in all the team’s attacking moves and he was almost getting his first goal for the club after he raced to tap home a through ball from Almoez but Saad’s defender reacted quickly to hit the ball out for a fruitless corner.

He was then withdrawn in the 65th minute and will be hoping to earn another start in their next league assignment.

The former Gor Mahia striker recently clinched the Golden Boot in the Japanese J-1 League after notching 28 goals from 32 matches while in the 2019 season, he finished with 27 league goals as Reysol ended the J2 season as champions, winning promotion to the first division.