Dominant City Stars battle back to thwart Ulinzi

Nairobi City Stars FC vs Ulinzi Stars FC during their Kenyan Premier League clash at ...
Nairobi City Stars FC vs Ulinzi Stars FC during their Kenyan Premier League clash at Nyayo National Stadium. PHOTO/SportPicha

Relegation-threatened Nairobi City Stars FC battled back from an embarrassing opening minute own goal to salvage a point against blunt Ulinzi Stars FC in their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clash on Saturday.

Luis Masika watched in horror when his attempted clearance ended at the back of his own net after his keeper, Ronny Kagunzi, raced out of his line in an effort to thwart the advancing Enos Ochieng.

Ugandan Richard Tamale’s side then dominated the soldiers in both halves and got reward in the 81st minute when Ezekiel Odera secured a share of the spoils with the equaliser in his second game in charge.

The result left the home side still second from bottom on 13 points while Ulinzi failed to make ground on their  faltering title challenge despite remaining fourth on 28, seven points behind leaders Tusker FC who play on Sunday.

After spurning an opportunity to level matters at the quarter hour mark, Oliver Maloba who was leading the attack with Ugandan Jimmy Bageya suspended then hit the woodwork on the rebound after Benson Iregi’s initial effort was spilled back into play by Ulinzi keeper James Saruni.

Robert Matano’s militarymen struggled to find rhythm with their top scorer, John Makwatta, blowing their best chance of the half when he had the beating of City Stars defence but lost his footing in the box allowing a relieved Kagunzi to gather easily.

A series of substitutions in the second half failed to alter the run of play with the beleaguered City Stars continued to command play with Saruni called on to make an acrobatic save in the 70th when Peter Musime who came on for Iregi set up Frankline Osama with the latter powering a strong header on target.

The Ulinzi keeper then turned villain when he failed to hold on Odera’s shot after the attacker waltzed past three challenges to fire and he was only too grateful to tuck in the rebound.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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