Echenje scores Police equalizer against Wazalendo

By ronnie evans
Jun 07, 2017
  • Butali Sugar players warm up ahead of one of their matches. They are one of the unbeaten sides in the men's Premier League. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

League leaders Kenya Police dropped points for the first time this season when they were held to a 3-3 draw by Wazalendo in a Kenya Hockey Union men's Premier League match at the City Park Stadium on Wednesday.

The draw ended a run of 10 straight wins for Kenya Police who until the mid-week clash were in cruise control.

Coach Patrick Mugambi maintained the same starters that humbled defending champions Strathmore University in their last match.

The law enforcers for the fourth straight match were without influential attacker Moses Cheplaiti due to a knee injury.

Wazalendo on the other hand was on the backdrop of a last gasp win over Kenya College of Accountancy-University at the weekend.

“We did not play by our usual tempo and that allowed them to grow in confidence. In the end we were able to salvage a point even though we aimed for a win,” Mugambi said.

“This is a morale boosting result because we were up against a top side and the league leaders. The players showed great character to take the game to the them,” Wazalendo coach Fidelis Kimanzi said.

Police ralied from down twice

In this match, Kenya Police had to come from behind twice to force a draw. Kenya Police were first to forge ahead in the 12th minute through striker Calvins Kanu who rediscovered his scoring touch after a swift counter attacking move.

A lapse in concentration enabled Wazalendo to claw back barely a minute later as Erick Ochieng was given time and space in the circle to rifle past Martin Agesa in goal.

Substitute Sam Wekesa shocked the law enforcers when he converted a penalty corner in the 16th minute for a 2-1 lead.

Edmond Makona, who missed the last match, was just on the field for three minutes when he equalised in the 25th minute from a penalty corner.

Poor set piece defending once again saw Kenya Police trail in the 42nd minute when dependable Kennedy Munialo’s angled shot from a penalty corner flew past Agesa.

Striker Oliver Echenje stepped up to rescue the 2013 league champions with three minutes left to the end of the match.

The result means that Kenya Police lead the standings on 31 points, eight more than second placed Green Sharks. Wazalendo remain fourth on 19 points.