Michael Olunga back to scoring ways in Japan

Kashiwa Reysol's Kenyan striker Michael Olunga (centre) in action against Yokoham F. Marinos in the Levain Cup at Nippatsu Mitsuzawa Stadium on October 7, 2020.

Photo credit: Pool

What you need to know:

  • Olunga equalized from the corner-kick before midfielder Yuta Kamiya turned the game on its head after scoring Kashiwa’s second goal in the 53rd minute. Kamiya complete a sublime pass from midfielder Ataru Esaka.
  • Kashiwa was on course to register their third straight win against Shonan before two late goals fromTemma Matsuda and Naoki Ishihara put Kashiwa to the sword.

Kenyan international Michael Olunga returned to scoring ways as Kashiwa Reysol lost 3-2 loss to Shonan Bellmare in Japanese top-tier league at Shonan BMW Stadium Hiratsuka on Sunday.

The J1 League August Player of Month, who was not on target in the previous fixture against Urawa Red Diamonds, netted his 22nd goal of the season in the 22nd minute. He headed in a corner-kick from Brazilian Cristiano.

Olunga is on top of the scoring chart with 22 goals from 23 matches in the 18-team league. He is ahead of Brazilian Everaldo of Kashima Antlers and Japanese Yu Kobayashi of Kawasaki Frontale who have netted 12 goals each.

Olunga, 26, has scored three times against Shonan this season as he found the back of the net twice in the first leg in which Kashiwa prevailed 3-2 at Kashiwa Hitachi Stadium in July.

In their latest meeting, Shonan, who had dropped 18 points from their last six games, took the lead in the fourth minute from Takuya Okamoto’s effort. The defender punished Kashiwa for a defensive mix-up.

Olunga equalized from the corner-kick before midfielder Yuta Kamiya turned the game on its head after scoring Kashiwa’s second goal in the 53rd minute. Kamiya complete a sublime pass from midfielder Ataru Esaka.

Kashiwa was on course to register their third straight win against Shonan before two late goals fromTemma Matsuda and Naoki Ishihara put Kashiwa to the sword.

In other matches held on Sunday, Sapporo hit Kashima Antlers 1-0 as Gamba Osaka inflicted Oita Trinita with the same harm. Shimizu and Sagan Tosu drew 1-1 as Yokohama defeated FC Tokyo 1-0.

Kashiwa occupies position eight on 37 points from 23 matches, while Shonan is rooted at the bottom of the log on 12 points from 22 matches. Kawasaki leads the way on 62 points from 23 matches.