On this day in 2018: Olunga becomes first Kenyan to score La Liga hat-trick

Michael Olunga scores for Girona FC.
Girona FC.
The striker had a memorable achievement in his football career despite the struggles he endured in the Spanish competition

On this day in 2018, Michael Olunga made history by becoming the first Kenyan to score a La Liga hat-trick for Girona.

Although his Girona stay was not a successful one, in the end, Olunga wrote his name in the club’s history books when his three goals ensured the Catalan club dismantled Las Palmas 6-0.

His La Liga hat-trick was recorded in a span of 22 minutes.

The former Thika United and Tusker striker, to date, is the only Kenyan to have scored in the Spanish top flight.

After playing in 14 matches and scored three goals, Olunga joined Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol in August 2018, where he has emerged as one of the fan favourites due to his superb goal-scoring form.

In the 2019/20 season in J2 League, the Kenyan became the club’s top scorer as he managed to bag 27 goals and was the runner-up in the Golden Boot race.

His most memorable moment with Kashiwa Reysol in the second-tier is perhaps when he found the back of the net seven times during a 13-1 win against Kyoto Sanga on November 2019.

In the ongoing top-tier campaign, the Harambee Star is leading the J1 League scorers’ chart with 11 goals after 10 matches. He became the first Kenyan to score in the league and registered a hat-trick against Vegalta Sendai on July 26 in a match they won 5-1.

It would have been four goals for him had he not missed from the penalty spot.

The Liberty Sports Academy product has been a dependable goal scorer for the clubs he has served up to now in his career.

When he was at Tusker on loan, Olunga played in 15 matches and scored three goals and it is at this time that his career was picking up.

In 2013, he joined Thika United and scored nine goals in 26 matches whereas it is at Gor Mahia where he scored the second-highest number of goals as a footballer. He netted 19 goals in 27 matches.

He left for Sweden’s Djurgardens IF in 2016 and scored 12 goals in 27 matches - the second time he hit double-digits.

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From 2017 to 2018, Olunga scored two goals from nine matches while serving Guizhou Zhicheng of China.

In 40 matches, he has scored 18 goals for the Kenyan national team.