Onyango scores twice for champs Strathmore against Sikh Union

By ronnie evans
Mar 15, 2021
  • Meshack Senge, the Strathmore University coach expected a tough opening against Sikh Union. (SNA. File Photo)

Festus Onyango’s first half strikes guided defending champions Strathmore University to a 2-0 win over Sikh Union, Nairobi in their opening Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at the City Park Stadium on Wednesday night.

Strathmore University tried to assert its authority in the opening few minutes with neat passes but their opponents refused to be bossed by making good interceptions.

Sikh Union, Nairobi conjured up the first chance of the match in the fourth minute when a through pass from the left wing by Francis Eshikuri evaded the students’ defence.

Veteran forward Shaba Zali who was lurking at the far post needed to apply a simple tap in but missed his attempt.

Sikh Union continued to exert pressure and almost grabbed the opener in the 10th minute when Collins Lwanguvinjia instinctively diverted Allan Iningu’s cross field pass only to see his effort bounce against the post.

Strathmore University’s defence looked vulnerable and missed the services of Constant Wakhura (now with Butali Sugar) who gave the back four stability.

Sikh Union’s resurgence disorganized them with their passes ineffective.

In the 14th minute, Eshikuri released Lwanguvinjia with a teasing through pass but the midfielder could only dive and steer it wide.

On the other end, Collins Makhatsa intercepted a pass before setting up Onyango who lobbed home but his attempt was ruled out because the ball had earlier hit his foot.

The end to end encounter saw Sikh Union squander another golden chance in the 19th minute when Haggai Peppela’s mishit shot fell to Zali’s path. The forward dived and fluffed his attempt with a goal imminent.

Strathmore made Sikh Union pay

Despite playing second fiddle in the match, Strathmore Univeristy made Sikh Union pay in the 22nd minute when Onyango dived to score from Clayson Luvanda’s hard pass from the halfway line.

Sikh Union players were stunned by the goal and fell 0-2 behind through Onyango at the stroke of halftime. Onyango reacted quickly to blast the rebound home from close range after captain Francis Kariuki’s clearance hit the post.

The students came into the second half full of confidence and had the first chance after the restart in the 41st minute when Luvanda wriggled his way past the defence and hit a low cross to the unmarked Onyango.

However, goalkeeper Caleb Simiyu sensed the danger, hurriedly came off his line to and intervened with Onyango poised to score.

Three minutes later Luvanda was again involved when he used his devastating speed to dribble on the left wing, left all in his wake before setting up substitute Lawrence Okongo whose shot missed.

Sikh Union pressed for further and goal shy Zali’s 47th minute miss summed up their misery upfront. Zali shot narrowly wide after a lovely defence splitting pass from Fidelis Otieno.

“It was a nervy first match as expected but we appreciate the three points together with the clean sheet. I think that we should have posted better results with the chances that we had. However, these chances fell to players who were making their debut in the league so they have time to improve,” Strathmore coach Meshack Senge told SNA.

Sikh Union tried time again to find the elusive first goal but were stopped by the solid defence spearheaded by goalkeeper Peter Okinda who made four saves in the final 15 minutes to ensure their lead remained intact.