Wanga delivers the Shield to Tusker FC after 23 years, breaks Ulinzi hearts

By alex wafula
Oct 20, 2016
  • Tusker FC landed their first Shield after 23 years and some good pocket change. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Allan Wanga scored the lone goal for Tusker FC which was worth Sh. 2 million. They are on course for a season double. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

After a 23-year wait Tusker FC finally clinched the GOtv Shield after beating Ulinzi Stars 1-0 at the Nyayo Stadium on Thursday evening.

Allan Wanga scored the lone goal in the first half, a goal that not only handed the brewers the Shield title but also put them in the right lane for a season double.

“It is such a great day for us and everyone associated with Tusker FC. It was a very tough match but we took up the chance we got and ensured we saw the result to the end. This trophy now gives us more confidence to hunt for the Premier League,” Paul Nkata, the Tusker FC head coach said after the match.

Ulinzi, hunting for a first domestic title in five years were left licking their wounds, having lost chances to score. But the soldiers have a flicker of hope that Tusker win the league. This will give them a chance of representing the country in the CAF Confederations Cup next season.

“It is so disappointing,” a crestfallen Benjamin Nyangweso said after the match. “Tusker had their best chance, used it while we failed to use most of ours. It will be hard to pick up from here but I know how I will talk to my boys so that we now focus on finishing in a good position in the league,” the stand in coach said.

Ulinzi started the match on a high and as early as the sixth minute asked questions of the Tusker backline.

Omar Mbongi was picked up by a Geoffrey Kokoyo freekick at the far post but his header was thwarted by Tusker keeper David Okello.

Enosh Ochieng was next to test the Tusker custodian with a stinging shot from distance, which he spilled. Defender Osborne Monday cleared the ball for a corner with John Mark Makwatta racing onto the rebound.

But Tusker gradually grew into the match with captain of the day Humphrey Mieno the main actor. Mieno who took over the armband in the absence of injured James Situma controlled the midfield with utmost prowess with Hashim Ssempala doing the dirty work, something that earned him a very early yellow card.

Tusker threatened from width

Tusker were threatening from width with left back Shafik Batambuze’s marauding runs and deliveries into the box giving Ulinzi extra work.

Ulinzi custodian James Saruni was called into his first real save in the 29th minute back-pedalling to tip over the ball for a corner after Geoffrey Kokoyo almost turned the ball into his own net from a Batambuze free kick.

Tusker’s pressure paid off in the 31st minute when Wanga’s shot struck the inside of the bar and into the net after beating Geoffrey Kokoyo to the ball from a quickly taken throw in.

Ulinzi's resolve took a knock as soon as they conceded but Tusker’s confidence rose.

The soldiers almost ended the half level but Okello thwarted Makwatta after the striker dribbled into the box.

In the second half, Ulinzi were better organized and seemed hungrier after some pep talk from Nyangweso.

In the 51st minute, Enosh Ochieng came close for the soldiers when he flicked on a corner from Daniel Waweru which however went narrowly wide.

Makwatta had another effort on the hour mark with a volley which also missed the target by a few inches after picking up a long pass from Sylus Shitote.

Saruni pulled off a brilliant point blank save in the 70th minute to keep his side in the game when he sprung to his right to parry away a shot from George Mandela who picked up a cross from Anthony Ndolo.

Ulinzi lobbed in balls into the Tusker area with the hope of an equalizer, but all their efforts went begging. Makwatta, who is usually ruthless with free-kicks outside the area had two such chances but both went awry.

In the final 10 minutes, Nkata brought on defender Eugene Asike for Anthony Ndolo to safeguard the lead. Asike though came off with two minutes left after suffering a concussion from a collision with Omar Mbongi.

Save for the trophy, Tusker also walked home with Sh.2 million while Ulinzi Stars wiped off their sweat with half the amount. Kariobangi Sharks earlier beat KCB 5-2 to win bronze and go home with Sh500,000.

Tusker team: David Okello, Osborne Monday, Shafik Batambuze, Martin Kiiza, Lloyd Wahome, Sempala Hashim, Humphrey Mieno, Noah Wafula (Luis Misiko 73’), Allan Wanga, Anthony Ndolo (Eugene Asike, 81’), George Mandela (Danson Kago 60’)

Unused subs: Duncan Ochieng, Clifford Alwanga, Stephen Owusu

Ulinzi Stars: James Saruni, Sylus Shitote (Samuel Onyango 65’), Geoffrey Kokoyo, Mohammed Hassan, Omar Mbongi, John Kago (Churchill Muloma 61’), Boniface Onyango, Brian Birgen, John Makwatta, Enosh Ochieng, Daniel Waweru (Stephen Waruru 75’).

Unused subs: Jacktone Odhiambo, Oliver Ruto, Ben Sande, Justine Omwenga

Match Officials: Davies Omweno (centre referee), Peter Sabatia (first assistant referee), Mary Njoroge (second assistant referee), Peter Waweru (fourth official).