Kenya international Michael Olunga was on target as Al Duhail SC registered their first-ever victory in the AFC Champions League Group Stage fixture over the Tajik side Al Istiklol by two clear goals at Abdullah bin Khalifa Stadium on Monday night.
With this result, Al Duhail reached four points and are in the third position in Group E. The first half ended in a 0-0 draw but in the second half, Olunga found the back of the net in the 47th minute with a powerful header.
Al Duhail’s goal made Al Istiklol players abandon their defensive caution and leave their areas searching for the equaliser, which opened the spaces for Duhail players who continued their attack, searching for their second goal, which almost came in the 70th minute after the cross ball that Olunga sent to Al Moez inside the penalty area but missed its way to the net until Olunga succeeded in the 89th minute in scoring the second goal with a header.
Speaking after the game, Olunga expressed his happiness with the victory by saying: “First of all, I am happy because we achieved our first victory in the tournament, which is good for us. We achieved what was required of us in the second half, and it is difficult to keep up with these clubs because of their chances of qualifying.
“Everyone is happy, especially since we are representing a team like Al Duhail that only accepts victories. I am also happy because I won the Star of the Match award and this came thanks to the help of my teammates throughout the match. We have no excuses, but we suffered from many absences and injuries, and our goal in the club is to achieve victory in all matches.
“We are playing on several fronts, not just the AFC Champions League, but there are the domestic competitions that we seek to achieve during the coming period.”
Duhail completed the match without the services of Ruben Semedo, who received a red card in the first minute of stoppage time.