Chemelil through to quarters, Group B wide open

By alex wafula
Dec 19, 2016
  • Mathare United's Martin Ongori tries to disposses Chemelil Sugar's brace hero Mohammed Mulisya. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

After securing their second win of the tournament, Chemelil Sugar, under the tutelage of ex-player Charles Odero became the first team to qualify for the quarter finals of the Kenyan Premier League Under-20 Championship.

The sugar millers beat defending champions Mathare United 2-0 with Mohammed Mulisya grabbing a brace.

At the same time, Sony Sugar became the first team to exit the competition after losing their second straight match, 3-1 against Muhoroni Youth. Muhoroni bounced off a disappointing 4-0 opening day loss at the hands of Mathare United. Sony had lost 2-1 to Chemelil in the first match.

Elsewhere, Group B flew wide open after the second round of matches with Ulinzi Stars and Gor Mahia winning their Monday games.

Ulinzi were 4-1 winners over Posta Rangers while Gor beat Western Stima 2-1. The results mean all the teams have three points each  but Ulinzi are top on a better goal difference.

The Ulinzi juniors left it late to turn the style on Posta Rangers who had picked a 2-1 result over Gor in their first match.

After constantly knocking on Posta’s door, Ulinzi got the opener in the 21st minute when defender Alex Masinde slammed the ball home from close range from an Iddi Hassan corner.

They had another chance in the 34th minute with defender Edward Shida heading wide from another Salim delivery.

Posta had failed to match the tempo of the Ulinzi side especially physically in the middle of the pack and had to wait till the 38th minute for their first real effort at goal. Clinton Obasanjo found space at the edge of the box but his shot went wide with keeper Brian Bwire beaten.

Masinde came close

In the second half, Ulinzi kept on the same pace and after seven minutes, Masinde came close to a brace but his free kick from the edge of the area came off the crossbar.

But, Shida put his side two up with a header in the midst of a forest of bodies in the box from a Francis Martin cross in the 78th minute.

Posta responded immediately while Ulinzi were still in a celebration mood. George Kimani looped the ball over Bwire in the Ulinzi goal after racing on to a poorly defended ball.

The mailmen’s bleak hopes of a comeback were dashed almost on the turn with Moses Mwangi shooting low from the edge of the box after some swift Ulinzi play.

Francis, nicknamed ‘Olunga’ due to his similar frame to Harambee Stars striker Michael Olunga finished off the job in the 89th minute with another neat finish.

Gor Mahia also ensured they retain their quarters hopes with a win over Stima, though they had to endure a nervous end to the match with Stima threatening to equalize.

Gor started the match brighter and after eight minutes, Hillary Ojwang’ gave them a much deserved lead. They should have doubled their tally in the 17th minute, but Harambee Stars under-20 player Teddy Osok missed a penalty after a handball inside the box.

Osok sought to right the wrongs from his penalty miss and came close in the 22nd minute with a well struck effort from 20 yards out which flew inches above the target.

Stima had struggled to assert their authority in the match but seven minutes from the breather, a good chance from a counter presented itself.

Harambee Stars under-20 winger Musa Masika won the ball deep in their own half, drove into the Gor zone and put Victor Ogendo through. However, the striker took the difficult option of trying to score from a tight angle with the keeper blocking the effort.

Gor doubled their tally five minutes into the second half thanks to a defensive blooper from Brian Otieno. Nashon Thiong’o, rose to head in the ball past the advancing keeper but however got injured in the process.

In the final 20 minutes, Stima intensified their attack upfront. Masika should have halved the deficit in the 70th minute but he failed to beat the Gor keeper one on one after being sent through by Steve Otieno.

Ogendo however lifted Stima spirits

Ogendo however lifted Stima spirits with a scrambled goal inside the six yard box from a Macharia cut back, coming just minutes after Masika had missed another one on one situation with the keeper.

Despite added pressure, Stima coached by senior team and Harambee Stars assistant coach Hezbon Nyabinge could not scrape a point off the match.

In Group C, Gabriel ‘Kingi Njoroge, the Mathare United coach admitted his side paid the price for over confidence. “We won the first match 4-0 and maybe thought it would be easy for us. But we saw that anything is possible. Chemelil had two chances and used them. We had very many and failed to use them. In the next match we have to win,”

They face Muhoroni Youth on Wednesday.

Mohammed opened the scores 20 minutes into the first half with a well taken half volley after taking his chance first time from the edge of the box off a Ban Kiprotich cross.

The junior ‘Slum Boys’ went close to equalizing three minutes after going down, Harambee Stars under-20 winger David ‘Messi’ Odhiambo heading just over from a difficult angle after connecting to a Martin Ongori cross.

The Chemelil keeper was called into a save in the 27th minute, diving to his left to pick out a low shot from Stephen Otieno who had taken his chance in between a forest of legs inside the box.

In the second half Chemelil sought to bury the game early and six minutes in, Mohammed struck his second with another well taken shot from the edge of the box after the Mathare backline half heartedly cleared a cross from the right.

Mathare’s day went from bad to worse with their keeper Job Ochieng being shown a straight red card after tackling a Chemelil defender as the last man.

KPL U20 Monday results

Ulinzi Warriors 4 Posta Rangers 1, Mathare United 0 Chemelil Sugar 2, Gor Mahia 2 Western Stima 1, Muhoroni Youth 3 Sony Sugar 1.

Tuesday fixtures: Thika United v AFC Leopards (8 a.m.), City Stars v Sofapaka (10 a.m.), Kakamega Homeboyz v Tusker (2 p.m.), Ushuru v Bandari (4 p.m.).