Kenyan footballers who scored winning hat-tricks before Olunga

Kenyan footballers who scored winning hat-tricks before Olunga

Kenyans have been heaping praise on 30-year-old Harambee Stars skipper Michael Olunga for his hat-trick heroics that led to Kenya lifting her first trophy in over six years, after beating Zimbabwe 3-1 to clinch the Four Nations Tournament title.

With this type of achievement, the Al Duhail forward goes down in history as the fourth Kenyan to achieve this feat.

Olunga’s predecessors include: Mike Okoth ,Sammy Okoth and Abdulrahman Baraza who scored hat-tricks the helped Kenya win at least a match.

Three years after becoming an independent nation, Kenya got a perfect Jamhuri Day celebration present from the then AFC Leopards midfielder Abdulrahman Baraza, who is the first person to score a hat-trick at an international assignment. He helped Kenya beat Sudan 3-2 in a friendly played on 12th December 1966.

Kenya had to wait for three more decades for a similar occurrence. In 1997, Kenya beat Burkina Faso 4-3 in the first leg of the 1998 World Cup Qualifiers fixture played in Nairobi, where Mike Okoth Origi, father to Belgium’s and Nottingham Forest’s forward Divock Origi, scored three goals.

However, Kenya’s triumph was short-lived after Burkina Faso won 4-2 in the return fixture, thereby winning 7-6 on aggregate.

A year later, another Kenyan, Sammy Okoth, etched his name in the annals of the country’s history after scoring a hat-trick in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers match against Djibouti, where Kenya won 9-1 in Nairobi on August 15, 1998.

Okoth managed to score a brace within the first six minutes of the match, later adding his third in the 65th minute.

Twenty-five years later, Olunga’s hat-trick helped Kenya break a trophy dry spell, bringing joy to the Kenyan population.

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