Saina capped a fine performance with a brace for Kenya Police

By ronnie evans
Apr 29, 2021
  • Kenya Police barely broke a sweat as they beat NAC 4-0 on Saturday at the City Park Stadium. (SNA. File Photo)

A first half brace by evergreen Brian Saina guided Kenya Police to a comfortable 4-0 win over Nakuru Athletic Club in their Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match at the City Park Stadium on Saturday.

It was their sixth win of the campaign to cement their lead at the top of the standings.

Coach Patrick Mugambi opted to shake things up in his starting lineup with forward Moses Cheplaiti benched and Vincent Odindo stepping in for the absent Oliver Echenje at the heart of the attack.

Kenya Police, who won the league in 2013, came off a nervy 2-1 win over Technical University of Kenya on Friday.

In that match, Saina’s early sixth minute strike and forward Calvins Kanu’s close range shot in the 21st minute was enough for the law enforcers.

TUK’s Ian Wajire pulled one back in the 41st minute but the Kenya Police defence stood firm to close out the match.

Against NAC, Kenya Police controlled the match with menacing intensity and were rewarded in the seventh minute when Saina drove from his deep midfield role into the circle and rifled home after lovely interplay with Kanu.

In the absence of Cheplaiti, who is usually the target man in set pieces, Amos Barkibirir stepped up to convert a penalty corner by Odindo in the 13th minute to make it 2-0.

Two minutes to the break, Saina converted their second penalty corner to cap off a fine performance from the set pieces.

Titus Kimutai who has had limited game time justified his inclusion when he sounded the board from Sammy Oungo’s cross field pass in the 57th minute.

Police goalkeeper Agesa barely tested

Kenya Police goalkeeper Martin Agesa was barely tested in the encounter largely due to a well oiled defence that protected him.

“It was a good team win because we played as a unit and utilised our set pieces. We also defended well and did not give them space to operate on. I am satisfied with the result,” an elated Mugambi said.

His opposite number Tony Agesa conceded defeat. “They were better on the ball and gave us problems especially during set pieces which is their strength. We have to regroup and aim for the three points tomorrow as we still have another match.”

In the women’s Premier League, a battling Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology remained unbeaten after Lesley Bonyo’s 49th minute strike forced a 1-1 draw against the highly fancied Sliders.

The draw enabled the students to remain second on the log with nine points behind 19-time champions Telkom Orange. The two are the only teams in the women’s division yet to taste defeat.

Also, it is interesting to note that JKUAT has already amassed more points so far than they did the whole of last season.

Sliders’ player-coach Anita Agunda decided to leave out Esther Wachira, Flavian Mwamba and Marion Wawera from the team as she made several changes following a shock 1-2 loss to Vikings a fortnight ago.

Sliders dominated possession

In this match, Sliders dominated possession but lacked the clinical finish in front of goal in the first half.

JKUAT players were happy to sit deep and defend in numbers. That strategy proved costly as they conceded a penalty corner in the 34th minute which Georgie Randeki was on hand to convert.

The students did not show much promise going forward with Sliders seemingly contented with their narrow lead.

A solo effort by Bonyo who was free in the circle restored parity in the 49th minute with a low shot from close range. The patchy affair ended with no clear cut chances from either team in their pursuit of a winner.

Results

Saturday: Nakuru Athletic Club 0 Kenya Police 4 - Premier League Men; Sliders 1 Jomo Kenyatta University of Science and Technology 1- Premier League Women; Dedan Kimathi University 0 University of Nairobi 0, Mvita XI 1 Wazalendo Masters 1, Mombasa West 1 Thika Rovers 3, Mombasa Sports Club v Impala (5 p.m.) - National League.

Fixtures

Sunday: KCA-U v Nakuru Athletic Club (9 a.m.), Technical University of Kenya v Sikh Union, Nairobi (3 p.m.) - Premier League Men; Mombasa Sports Club v Telkom Orange (10.30 a.m.), Multimedia University v Kenyatta University (1 p.m.)-Premier League Women; Mombasa Sports Club v Wazalendo Masters (9 a.m.), Mvita XI v Thika Rovers (9 a.m.), Mombasa West v Impala (10.30 a.m), JKUAT v Karate Axiom (11 a.m) - National League.