Kuira salvages a draw for USIU-A against Strathmore

By ronnie evans
Jun 26, 2017
  • Rhoda Kuira scored a goal to level the scores against Strathmore University. (SNA. File Photo)

Rhoda Kuira scored with 15 minutes to play as United States International University-Africa recovered from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw against Strathmore University in their Kenya Hockey Union women's Premier League match on Sunday.

The enthralling derby which was played at the City Park Stadium saw the teams share the spoils to effectively end USIU-A's impressive six match winning run.

Moreover, they now trail league leaders Telkom Orange by five points on 22 points.

Strathmore University, a side that is just two points​ behind USIU-A proved to be the team with the more aggressive approach led by deadly forward Gilly Okumu who caused a lot of problems for the opposition defence.

In this match, Strathmore University coach Meshack Senge opted to start with Ivin Onyango in goal with Natasha Maria, who impressed in their 6-0 whitewash of Multimedia University on Saturday benched.

Strathmore University seemed to have the perfect start with defender Elizabeth Ngombo using her strength to steer the ball past Nouvelle Becca in goal following a penalty corner by Yvonne Wanjiku in the eighth minute.

The goal unsettled USIU-A’s defence and Denise Odongo was on hand to pounce two minutes later just as the students were still regrouping from conceding the first goal.

In the 14th minute, Becca was brilliant to intercept Okumu’s path to goal and kept the scoreline modest in the process.

Precision passes and purposeful play

USIU-A who had only lost once prior to that match started mounting a comeback in the second quarter with precision passes and purposeful play.

They were rewarded in the 25th minute through Veronica Maua who made no mistake from close range after being put through on goal.

Kuira, known for her dribbling ability and speed restored parity in the 45th minute after converting a penalty corner delivered by captain Beatrice Mbugua. 

Kuira created space for herself and fired past Onyango. Sensing the resurgence, Senge made a tactical switch of withdrawing Onyango for Maria who featured for the final 15 minutes. The pursuit for a dramatic winner proved to be in vain.

“We had the upper hand but we let the match slide from our grasp after leading. They pressed us hard and momentum switched to their favour. This is a match we should have won,” Senge said.

In the men's National League, Nakuru based Kabarak University avoided defeat on their travel to Nairobi following their narrow 1-0 win over University of Nairobi in the derby.

Kabarak University on Saturday forced a 1-1 draw with Dedan Kimathi University and against UoN, the team left it late to secure all the three points in the dull affair.

Elliston Yoya scored in the 60th minute with the match at its tail end for the win.

Significant result

The result was significant because it was only their second win in eight matches to remain fourth on eight points.

UoN (seven points) is locked at sixth position on a three way tie with Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.

In the men's Premier League, USIU-A were clinical from the set pieces as they bounced back from last week's loss to Kenya Police by edging Technical University of Kenya 2-0.

Captain Andrew Memo lead from the front when he converted a fifth minute penalty corner for the students.

TUK offered little going forward and we're guilty of stray passes. Substitute John Kabuu put the match to bed when he also was clinical from a penalty corner in the 55th minute to settle the nerves.

Weekend Results

Saturday: Strathmore University 6 Multimedia University 0 - Premier League Women; Park Road Badgers 3 Kenya College of Accountancy-University 0, Butali Sugar Warriors 0 Green Sharks 0 - Premier League Men; Impala 3 Daystar University 0, Dedan Kimathi University 1 Kabarak University 1 - National League.

Sunday: University of Nairobi 0 Kabarak University 1, Gorilla 2 Park Road Tigers 4 - National League; Strathmore University 2 United States International University-Africa 2 - Premier League Women; Kenyatta University 0 Sikh Union, Nairobi 3, USIU-A 2 Technical University of Kenya 0 - Premier League Men.