Olunga shines as Duhail set up Al Hilal semi-final

Michael Olunga produced a second-half brace as Qatar's Al Duhail knocked out Al Shabab 2-1 to prevent an all-Saudi clash in the last four of the AFC Champions League on Thursday.

Hernan Crespo's Al Duhail will now meet Al Hilal on Sunday to decide the top team in West Asia after the holders and title-favourites from Saudi Arabia edged out Iran's Foolad Khuzestan 1-0 in another quarter-final match.

Matches in the tournament's east zone were completed last August with Japan's Urawa Reds sitting pretty, having already booked their spot in the final by beating South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai in their last-4 clash.

Kenyan Olunga was the star for Al Duhail with his two clinical finishes against Al Shabab, who remarkably had six clean slates in the tournament leading up to their latest match.

Al Duhail had dominated the exchanges for most part of the encounter but could only break the deadlock in the 75th minute.

The nervous Al Shabab defence conceded two corners in quick succession and Olunga took advantage of an excellent delivery from Edmilson Junior off the second to find the net with a powerful header in the 75th minute.

Seven minutes later, some terrible defending outside the penalty area by Moteb al-Arabi saw Olunga grab the ball and slot it easily past Al Shabab goalkeeper Kim Seung-Gyu following a pass by Ismaeel Mohamed.

Al Shabab pulled one back three minutes into added time through an excellent goal by defender Saeed al-Rubaei but Al Duhail hung on to their lead in the dying moments to close out the tie.

Meanwhile, star-studded and cash-rich Al Hilal were frustrated no end by the defence-oriented Foolad at the Al Janoub stadium.

The most successful club from the Gulf region – they have won the tournament five times and are aiming for their third title in four years – Al Hilal were stonewalled by Foolad, which translates to steel in Persian.

But their iron resolve eventually gave way three minutes from time when Saleh al-Shehri managed to thread the ball to MoussaMarega and the Malian forward made no mistake with a fine shot into the bottom corner of the net.

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