Ulinzi, Mathare United held as KPL first leg winds up

By alex wafula
May 26, 2016
  • Ulinzi's Ben Sande clears the ball under pressure from Andrew Murunga.(Photo by Alex Wafula)

Four time SportPesa Kenya Premier League champions Ulinzi Stars were held to a one-all draw at home by Kakamega Homeboyz as Mathare United played to a goalless draw with Posta Rangers at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

The two teams finish the first leg of the season second and third respectively. Ulinzi would have gone top courtesy of Gor’s docking of points with a win and the draw with Homeboyz left a bitter taste on coach Robert Matano’s mouth.

John Makwatta had scored in the first half before substitute Dennis Okoth equalized on the hour mark and Matano was not impressed at all with the performance of his players.

“It is a bad result for us. Today we just didn’t play football. There was no mobility, no urgency and we couldn’t even string four passes together, it is a very disappointing result,” Matano told Sports News Arena after the match.

The point was a crucial one for league returnees Homeboyz who ensure they are within the top half bracket by mid-season.

“For us, our target is not winning the league. We just want to maintain within the top ten because we know our strengths and so far, we are doing well. This is a crucial point against a very tough side and it gives us some good footing into the second leg,” Homeboyz coach Mike Mururi said after the game.;

Ulinzi got into the lead in the 10th minute with Makwatta stretching to shoot the ball beyond Mike Wanyika in the Homeboyz goal after Enosh Ochieng had sent him through first time.

John Nairuka attempted an effort from distance but it was wild as Ulinzi built up from their early goal. Homeboyz had their first threatening moment in the 18th minute with Athman Buki striking a freekick from the right but Ali Bai’s connection on the half volley went straight to James Saruni.

On the other end, Omar Mbongi’s dipping header from a Nairuka corner went inches high. Coach Mururi was bolted into his first change of the match in the 25th minute with Ulinzi bossing the game and he brought of play maker Hamissi Mwinyi for striker Okoth.

Muhoroni beat Chemilil

The burly and speedy forward brought some punch in attack and his influence was better seen in the second period with his partnership with former Tusker forward Andrew Murunga.

Just three minutes after the restart, Murunga won the ball in midfield, sent Moses Mudavadi through but the latter’s attempt was too weak to bother Saruni in the Ulinzi goal.

The persistence bore fruit in the 61st minute, Murunga beating Ben Sande for the ball on the right and floating in a cross. Saruni and his defender Birgen collided as they went for the ball and Okoth had the simplest of tasks tapping the ball into an empty net for the equalizer.

With Matano bringing in Daniel Waweru for Kevin Amwayi and Boniface Onyango for Churchill Muloma, Ulinzi came alive again and Waweru had the best chance with a lone header in the 73rd minute but he bounced it over with a gaping goalmouth.

Elsewhere, Wycliffe Ochomo continued with his fine run of form, scoring the lone goal as Muhoroni Youth beat Chemelil Sugar 1-0 to climb sixth on the standings.

In Mombasa, Eugene Mukangula equalized for Thika United as they played to a one-all draw with Bandari FC. In Awendo, Sony Sugar kept their impressive form under head coach Salim Babu as they beat City Stars 2-0 with goals from Victor Ademba and Fredrick Onyango.

Results: Wednesday: Tusker FC 2 AFC Leopards 2 (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Gor Mahia 2 Sofapaka 0 (Moi Stadium, Kisumu); Thursday: Ulinzi Stars 1 Kakamega Homeboyz 1 (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru), Posta Rangers 0 Mathare United 0 (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Bandari 1 Thika United 1 (Mbaraki Complex, Mombasa), Muhoroni Youth 1 Chemelil Sugar 0 (Muhoroni Complex), Sony Sugar FC 2 City Stars 0 (Awendo Stadium), Western Stima 1 Ushuru FC 3 (Moi Stadium, Kisumu