Makwatta, Amwayi strike to lift Ulinzi over Muhoroni

By alex wafula
Apr 04, 2016
  • Kevin Amwayi of Ulinzi beat's Muhoroni's Frankline Osama at the Afraha Stadium. Ulinzi won 2-1 to move to the fourth spot on the league table. (Photo Courtesy)

John Mark Makwatta and Kevin Amwayi scored a goal in each half  as Ulinzi Stars edged out Muhoroni Youth 2-1 at the Afraha Stadium to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

As a result of this first home win, Ulinzi moves fourth on the SportPesa-sponsored Kenya Premier League. They have 13 points, one below the leaders Tusker, Mathare United and AFC Leopards.

The improved conversion rate excited coach Robert Matano who acknowledged: “We played well and used our chances though we still have room for improvement. I think I was pleased with our fighting spirit and the seriousness we had. The challenge now remains to be consistent.”

Ulinzi did not look convincing in the opening minutes. They struggled for possession which Muhoroni Youth enjoyed. There was some spark in the second minute when Mark Bikwoka sent a wild shot from a cross by Brian Birgen.

But, the visitors were made to pay for all possession without a goal in the 24th minute when Makwatta opened the scores with a side-foot finish from a Bikokwa low cross. The slippery pitch as a result of light afternoon showers made it difficult for Muhoroni to defend the ball which was placed behind their players who were on the attack.

Makwata free-kick deflected

The goal pulled Ulinzi back into the game and should have had two more goals in the 34th minute with Bikokwa shooting wide from the left while Makwatta saw his free kick deflected.

Wycliffe Ochomo, Muhoroni’s top scorer with four goals had a chance on the counter two minutes later, but his shot on the weaker left foot went wide.

Matano introduced fresh legs at the start of the second period, Erick Apul paving way in midfield for Churchill Muloma while Bikokwa came off for Oscar Wamalwa. The military side piled more pressure and Makwatta failed to complete a brace in the 55th minute from a Geoffrey Kokoyo header off a corner.

In the 65th minute substitute Muloma had a shot from the edge of the box blocked after a cut back from the impressive Brian Birgen on the right. Three minutes later, Wamalwa rose to meet an Amwayi cross from the right but the ball rose over the bar.

Ulinzi put the game to bed 10 minutes from time, again from another impressive break on the right this time Amwayi slotting home from 10 yards after being teed up by John Nairuka.

Muhoroni pulled one back in the third minute of added time, Yussuf Juma rising to head home from a Moses Arita corner for a nervous end to the match.

“I am happy with the boys despite the loss. We only gave away cheap goals but had a good game. I have a new team which I am trying to build and so far we are doing well. This is over, we dust ourselves and look forward to improving in the next match," Muhoroni tactician James Omondi told Sports News Arena after the match.