Hagai Pepela scored a goal with three minutes left as Sikh Union edged out Park Road in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at the City Park Stadium on Sunday.
The loss summed up a dissapointing weekend fo Park Road who lost 1-2 to Kenya Police on Saturday. It was the fifth win for Sikh Union who now move to the sixth spot on the log.
From the start, both the teams played aggressively with Sikh Union producing two successive penalty corners within the first 10 minutes.
After surviving a nervy opening, Park Road launched a counter-attack and earned two penalty corners in the dying minutes of the first half but Sikh Union goal keeper Ajay Dosaja was up to the task.
The opening minutes of the second half saw Sikh Union squander a couple of chances.
With three minutes left, Sikh players launched a counter attack after a foiled penalty corner by Park Road.
Fidelis Okello raced on the left wing and passed the ball to Pepela who beat Allan Egesa for the winner.
Sikh Union goalkeeper Dosaja, admitted, “Park Road was a very tough team. They played very well and it’s all about the game to loss. The win is a morale booster to the team in the coming matches. Everyone played well and it’s good that we managed to win.”
Cyrus Kanyi, the Park Road coach said: “We had a number of chances to score. But failed. It was not about luck. We made some mistakes in the final minute and you just cannot do that in the league.”
He promised the team will perform better in the coming matches and rectify all the mistakes committed in the match.
In the women’s league, a ninth minute field goal by Beryl Okwach was enough to hand Sliders a 1-0 win over Vikings. The win moved Sliders up to fifth with 12 points from six matches while Vikings remain fourth with 13 points from eight matches
Cheplaiti converted two penalty corners
On Saturday, Moses Cheplaiti converted two penalty corners including one in the last ten minutes to lead Kenya Police to a hard fought 2-1 win over Park Road.
Cheplaiti gave the former league champions the lead in the 12th minute but Park Road scored from Brian Mwangi hit back three minutes into the second half. Cheplaiti scored his second in the 61st minute to secure victory for his side at City Park Stadium
The win ensured Police maintained the second spot behind leaders Butali Sugar Warriors
This match started on a fast speed. Police grabbed the first opportunity in the seventh minute when Richard Birir ran down from the right of Park Road circle and dodged two markers before passing it to Willy Okeyo who deflected it wide.
Five minutes later, Police were awarded a penalty corner which Cheplaiti tapped off Okeyo’s pass from the D.
Six minutes later, Samuel Wokila got a brilliant chance to make it 2-0 when he was one-on-one with rival goalkeeper Allan Agesa but fired it over of the post.
Without wasting any moment, Park Road were awarded a penalty corner following a pacy counter-attack, only for Denis Oboya to waste it. Both the goalkeepers Allan Agesa and Martin Agesa had a tough first half as their teams went on the offensive.
Park Road appeared better in the opening five minutes of the second half and got their equalizer in the 38th minute as Mwangi made amends for his earlier mistake and fired a grounder to the right corner of the post.
After the equalizer, Park Road absorbed the pressure exerted by Police and dominated the midfield. They showed more pace and energy as compared to Police but were let down by poor finishing.
Leveled at 1-1 with less than ten minutes to play, Police went on the attack and Mathew Kiptoo made a very good run from the right and passed the ball to Felix Okoth, who found a foot of Police defender, earning a penalty corner in the 61st minute. Cheplaiti flicked high into the net to give his side the maximum points.
After the match, Cheplaiti expressed his delight at scoring two goals but was quick to say his side didn’t play well. “I’m delighted. Winning is always good and I am happy I have led my team to victory.
Park Road are a good team and we weren’t 100% to be honest – we looked a bit tired. But the most important thing is we got the win,” he said.
Saturday Aug 15: Park Road Tigers 1 Chase Sailors 1, Kenya Police 2 Park Road 1.
Sunday 16 August: Sikh Union 1 Park Road 0, Vikings 0 Sliders 1, Thika Rovers 1 Wazalendo Youth 2.