Ulinzi blow away chance of going top

By alex wafula
May 28, 2021
  • Sofapaka defender Kennedy Oduor clears the ball under pressure from Ulinzi's Stephen Waruru in a previous match. The soldiers were beaten by Chemelil Sugar while Sofapaka drew with Nzoia United.

Ulinzi Stars’ run of four wins on the trot was halted by Chemelil Sugar who won 2-1 at their home ground in Awasi to put off the soldiers’ bid of leaping to the top of the Kenyan Premier League standings.

Before this match, Ulinzi who were second, just two points off Gor Mahia needed all the points to ascend to the top.

“It was a tough match away from home and today, we couldn’t get ourselves to the usual best. It is a disappointing loss but we will pick up from here,” a disappointed Benjamin Nyangweso, the Ulinzi Stars coach said after the game.

Ulinzi started brighter, as they have in their last four games. Midfielder Churchill Muloma was the first to knock on the Chemelil door with a rasping shot from distance that was collected by Chemelil keeper Jairus Adira.

Stephen Waruru also had a chance with a freekick from the edge of the 18-yard box but Adira collected again.

The afternoon rain in Awasi made play difficult, slowing the pace of the game.

Cautious play

Chemelil made the most of the cautious play employed by both teams when Jaffery Odenyi tapped home from close range in the 42nd minute after Ulinzi keeper Jacktone Odhiambo spilled a shot from Collins Neto.

In the second half, Chemelil picked up from where they left off. Jacktone Odhiambo was forced to rise well to save a shot from Neto.

In the 73rd minute, the home side doubled their tally when Victor Majid stepped up to convert a penalty after Geoffrey Kokoyo handled inside the box.

Ulinzi equalized eight minutes later when substitute Oscar Wamalwa also scored from the spot after the Chemelil backline handled.

Despite surging in the final 10 minutes, Ulinzi’s bid for a point was unsuccessful.

In Bungoma, Benjamin Muchuma scored with four minutes left on the clock as hosts Nzoia United came from behind to draw 1-1 with Sofapaka.

Bernard Mwalala’s side has not won at home this season.

Maurice Odipo gave Sofapaka the lead on the hour mark when he rose high to nod home a Charles Okwemba freekick inside the box.

Muchuma tapped home

The hosts piled pressure and were rewarded four minutes to time when Muchuma tapped home from a Masita Masuta cross.

In Thika, hosts Thika United and Muhoroni Youth drew 1-1. Both goals were scored within the first 12 minutes.

Kity Bliss opened the scores in the fifth minute after shooting from the edge of the area, picking up a weak punch from Thika United keeper Eliud Emase.

Seven minutes later, Eugene Mukangula’s thunderous shot from outside the area drew the hosts level.

It was a well balanced game between the two sides, still struggling to find their feet this season.

Daniel Otieno came close for the visitors but his shot was saved by Emase. Muhoroni Youth were forced to a change in the second half when keeper Salim Sowedi was stretchered out.

Gradus Ochieng, a former Gor reserve keeper took his place. Thika United picked up pace in the final half hour but couldn’t find the right formula to get a second.

Salim Mzee and Mukangula were constant threats but none of their efforts changed the scoreline.

KPL Weekend results and fixtures. (All games kick off 3 p.m.)

Saturday: Bandari 0 Kakamega Homeboyz 0 (Mbaraki Complex), Chemelil Sugar 2 Ulinzi Stars 1 (Chemelil), Nzoia United 1 Sofapaka 1 (Sudi Stadium), Thika United 1 Muhoroni Youth 1 (Thika Sub County Stadium).

Sunday: Nakumatt v Mathare United (Ruaraka Complex), Posta Rangers v Gor Mahia (Nyayo Stadium), Tusker FC v AFC Leopards (Kinoru Stadium, Meru), Western Stima v Kariobangi Sharks (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), Zoo Kericho v Sony Sugar (Kericho Stadium).