Ulinzi on the ascendancy as league enters crucial stage

By nesta kizito
Oct 03, 2014
  • Ulinzi Stars Eric Apul at a past KPL tie.(Photo:SNA File)

Ulinzi Stars dislodged Chemelil Sugar from fourth spot on the Kenyan Premier League table with a gritty come from behind 2-1 win at Chemelil on Friday.

The soldiers appeared to be staring defeat straight in the face against the hosts until midway through the second half when Job Muhati controlled a long ball and turned Charles Odera inside out before beating Chemelil goalkeeper Jairus Adira on his near post with a low drive.

The goal, which came against he run of play, cancelled out Willis Ouma’s first half effort for the hosts.

The soldiers then struck the sucker punch with just ten minutes left on the clock when Mohammed Hassan sneaked behind Chemelil’s rearguard to head in Stephen Waruru’s free kick.

The result left both teams level on 41 points from 26 matches apiece but the soldiers inched ahead on goal difference.

Seven more matches will be played this weekend with the title race expected to heat up as the season enters the decisive stage.

Defending champions Gor Mahia under pressure to uphold their advantage over their nearest rivals when they play against strugglers City Stars at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

K’Ogalo are on top of the log with 48 points but have seen their lead slashed to just two points by Sofapaka, who will also be away in Awendo on Saturday against Sony Sugar.

Survival chances

Whereas Gor’s fixture appears to be the easier of the two, theirs’ is actually a potentially treacherous encounter with an opponent who is practically clutching at straws to stay afloat in the top division.

The second from bottom City Stars are in a desperate situation and need to pick as many points as possible from their remaining matches to boast their chances of survival.

Equally in dire straits are KCB and bottom side Top Fry Nakuru.

The latter, whose fate seems to be sealed, will be up against AFC Leopards on Sunday while the bankers will be looking to put as much distance between them and the drop zone when they visit Western Stima in Kisumu.

KCB have staged a late season revival hoisting themselves from the basement, where they spent much of their time during first leg, to leapfrog Top Fry and City Stars in the standings.

The other title contenders, Tusker, are six points off the pace, but are not completely out of the picture. The brewers still have an outside chance of clawing their way back into contention beginning with a match against Mathare United on Saturday.

Weekend fixtures – Saturday: Mathare United vs Tusker (Nyayo-2pm), City Stars vs Gor Mahia (Nyayo-4:15pm), Muhoroni Youth vs KRA (Muhoroni-3pm), Western Stima vs KCB (Kisumu-3pm) Sunday: Sony Sugar vs Sofapaka (Awendo-3pm), Thika United vs Bandari (Thika-3pm), Top Fry Nakuru vs AFC Leopards (Afraha-2pm)