Kigali-bound Ulinzi sign off with a win against Chemelil Sugar

By alex wafula
Aug 22, 2017
  • Benjamin Nyangweso the Ulinzi Stars coach was relieved after the soldiers ended a three-match losing streak. (SNA. File Photo)

Benjamin Nyangweso the Ulinzi Stars coach was relieved after the soldiers ended a three-match losing streak with a 1-0 victory over Chemelil Sugar in Nakuru on Tuesday evening.

Ulinzi are already out of the GOtv Shield and the league is their only hope for domestic silverware.

“It was a terrible run. Since I joined this team, we have never lost three matches continuously. It is more than a relief for us to have won today. It gives us renewed confidence because the players had really been put off psychologically,” the tactician noted. 

Daniel Waweru scored from the spot, his fifth of the season to steer the soldiers to the fourth spot on the table. The penalty was awarded after a Chemelil defender handled inside the box.

After the goal in the 16th minute, Ulinzi created more scoring chances. Cliff Kasuti put Waweru through but his shot from the edge of the six yard box went over.

Samuel Onyango forced a good save off the Chemelil keeper minutes later with a low shot from the edge of the box.

In the second half Ulinzi were subdued as Chemelil Sugar pushed for an equalizer, but they managed to hold on to the slim lead.

They will now shift their attention to the East Africa Military Games which kick off this weekend in Bujumbura, Burundi.

The soldiers who are the defending champions depart on Thursday evening, confident of title defense.

Seven matches are lined up

Meanwhile, seven matches are lined up for Wednesday. Leaders Gor Mahia host Posta Rangers at Kasarani.

The mailmen are confident they could hand Dylan Kerr his first loss in Kenya. The two sides drew 1-1 in the first leg at Nyayo Stadium but coach Sammy Omollo believes if they can scale up.

“Gor is a tough team and they are doing well of late. It is going to be a very tough game. Our ambition is to ensure we retain the gap between us and the top to the bare minimum if we are not the team at the top. That’s why the three points on Wednesday are important,” the tactician pointed out.

Posta Rangers' last two games have not yielded full points. They drew 1-1 away to Chemelil Sugar in their last match, less than a week after a 0-1 loss to at Nzoia Sugar.

Omollo acknowledged the team which has the meanest defense in the league has patched up the weak areas which mostly revolves around their attack.

He urged his strikers to deliver as they aim for their second ever top flight win over Gor who have not lost a match in the league since the arrival of Englishman Kerr.

They have won four straight matches to open up a four-point gap at the apex.

Kerr admits Posta Rangers are formidable opponents. “Well for us every game is tough. The main thing is to maintain our discipline and tact. I am impressed with how we are doing so far. We are playing beautiful football but my only concern is we are not killing games early enough,” he stated.

A win for the 15-time champions coupled with a drop in points by second placed Sofapaka will see them open a healthy lead and with a game in hand.

Sofapaka beaming with confidence

Sofapaka will face Nzoia Sugar in the early kick off. Batoto ba Mungu are beaming with confidence after beating Nakumatt 5-2 their healthy 5-2 over the weekend.

Assistant coach John Baraza however says his boys will not be carried away by the win, saying they will be cautious against a dangerous Nzoia Sugar side.

“They are very fast on and off the ball so it is not a team we can approach hands back. We need to tame their speed and deny them the ball. That’s the only way we can win,” Baraza disclosed.

Nzoia Sugar lost their last match by a solitary goal away to Thika United. The first leg tie between these two sides ended 1-1 in Sudi.

In Machakos, Kariobangi Sharks will rely on a thrust put in by their 5-0 GOtv Shield quarters win over Eldoret Youth over the weekend when they host Western Stima.

Kariobangi Sharks boss William Muluya says his boys are psyched up for three points but concedes Western Stima will be no pushovers.

“They are a very good side because even if they are second from bottom, they play good football. It has been just a matter of luck that they have failed to win. We should not approach them basing on their position on the table,” a cautious Muluya noted.

Bolton Omwenga remains sidelined with injury but Paul Kamau who has been slotted in as a replacement at left back and impressed will continue holding forte.

KPL midweek fixtures (kick off 3 p.m. unless stated)

Kakamega Homeboyz v Bandari (Mumias), Kariobangi Sharks v Western Stima (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Sofapaka v Nzoia Sugar (2 p.m.), Gor Mahia v Posta Rangers (4 p.m. Moi Stadium Kasarani), Mathare United v Nakumatt (Ruaraka Complex), Muhoroni Youth v Thika United (Muhoroni), SoNy Sugar v Zoo Kericho (Awendo).