Olunga’s screamer in contention for Goal of the Season

Michael Olunga’s free-kick for Al Duhail against Al Ahli Saudi on April 30 has been nominated to compete for the Best Goal of the 2021 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League.

The Kenyan captain’s goal faces nine others from Al Hilal’s Nasser Al Dawsari (vs Pohang Steelers on November 23), Ulsan Hyundai’s Lee Dong-gyeong (vs Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors on October 17), Shabab Al Ahli Dubai’s Carlos Eduardo (vs AGMK on April 24), Gamba Osaka’s Shu Kurata (vs Tampines Rovers on July 7) and Mehdi Ghaedi of Esteghlal (vs Al Ahli Saudi on April 15) in the semifinals.

Other goals vying in contention are from Pathum United’s Diogo (vs Kaya FC-Iloilo on June 26), Beijing FC’s Liang Shaowen (vs United City on June 26), Al Ahli Saudi’s Driss Fettouhi (vs Al Shorta on April 21) and Hiroyuki Abe from Nagoya Grampus (vs Johor Darul Ta’zim on July 4).

Olunga lined up a free-kick from 25 yards out and powered in a shot with his lethal left-foot underneath the wall and past Mohammed Al Owais in Al Ahli Saudi goal for his ninth goal of the campaign in the 61st minute.

The Group “C” match ended 1-1 after Haitham Asiri equalised later on to send Al Duhail crashing out of the Champions League. Olunga’s goals were enough to see him emerge the top scorer at the end of the campaign on November 23.

Fans are voting for the best Champions League on AFC.com with Dawsari’s rocket from 15 yards out on 16 seconds in the final against Pohang leading the race on 83.91 percent followed by Ghaedi’s 30-yard screamer against Al Ahli Saudi (12.92%), Olunga (0.82%) and Eduardo (0.54%). Poll ends on December 10 at 10pm EAT.

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