Ulinzi turn guns on KPL after brave CAF Confed exit

Ulinzi Stars FC players celebrates Omar Mbongi's goal against Smouha of Egypt during their CAF ...
Ulinzi Stars FC players celebrates Omar Mbongi's goal against Smouha of Egypt during their CAF confederation Cup second leg match at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on March 18, 2017. Ulinzi Stars FC won 3-0. Photo/www.sportpicha.com

Ulinzi Stars Head Coach Benjamin Nyangweso appaluded his players’ fighting spirit as they crashed out of the CAF Confederation Cup first round 4-3 on aggregaate against Smouha SC on Saturday.

Ulinzi fell just one goal short of forcing the game into being decided on extra time after scoring thrice on the returning leg at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos but the tactician has asked his charges to turn their agony into a formidable Kenyan Premier League (KPL) charge.

Samuel Onyango’s man-of-the-match display drew praise from his coach following the midfielder’s first half brace on a day the club’s natuarl forwards continued their struggles in front of goal.

“If this performance we carry it in to our KPL matches then we will have a good season and this two teams we have played with are very tactical and this has given us some experience and it will motivate us as we start our season,” Nyangweso told Citizen Digital.

He attributed the quick turnaround of results that saw them almost overturn a huge 4-0 first leg deficit to dynamism, after having tinkered the squad’s formation to feature a three-man midfield.

“When we played them in the first leg they were very many in the midfield and they were attacking us a lot. We had to change the system to counter their quick passing,” he stated.

The change worked to a devastating effect as Onyango put them 1-0 up after just nine minutes as the visitors went to the break without a single shot on target.

Nyangweso added Saturday’s performance was a sign the club is now ready to move on without John Mark Makwatta, their top scorer for the last two years following his switch to Slovakia’s FC Nitra.

“If one player moves out obviously another one will come and now Samuel has started scoring goals after Makwata moved and I hope Samuel will fill his shoes well,” he stated.

Onyango rallied his teammates to turn their heads on the KPL and adding the continental exposure has been beneficial for the team.

“When we were defeated 4-0 away we knew it was difficult to score five goals to qualify but we wanted to exit the competition fighting and we thank God we have done it,the performance will motivate us in our KPL matches.

Ulinzi play newcomers Kariobangi Sharks in their KPL opener having missed two ties against AFC Leopards and Western Stima due to commitments at the CAF.

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