Wednesday 13 January marked another Match Day, and another winless outing for Ulinzi Stars, this time held to a 0-0 draw by one of the BetKing Premier League’s newly promoted sides, Bidco United, at Afraha Stadium.
Hosts Ulinzi Stars made two forced changes to the starting team, slotting in Alex Masinde for the injured Bonaventure Muchika, as Enosh Ochieng was replaced by Michael Otieno, with Byron Odiaga and Quintine Indeche coming in too, but starting from the bench.
At the close of it, it was Ulinzi Stars with their heads down as they registered a fourth draw in the six matches played so far, and they will rue the miss, having had a good number of open chances to win the game.
Chances in the game
Elvis Nandwa had the first chance of the game, meeting a good cross from Michael Otieno but he hit high in the sixth minute. He would win a free kick outside the box but in Daniel Waweru’s range, but this time Waweru skied his 12th minute delivery.
In the 20th minute, Ulinzi Stars broke out after moments of pressure from the visitors and Bidco were forced to concede a corner. Otieno took it and Masita Masuta was the highest and did meet the ball, but could only head wide.
At 24 minutes Ulinzi Stars coach Benjamin Nyangweso had seen enough and decided to make an early change, replacing Nandwa with Ibrahim Shambi. Still there was no change in fortunes for Ulinzi Stars, and especially when Boniface Andayi rose high to head a Waweru corner straight at the Bidco keeper.
In the second half, John Kago spurned a good chance, shooting wide with a pass from Brian Birgen and later on Ulinzi added firepower in the forward line, with Clinton Omondi replacing Daniel Waweru.
It is Bidco however, who got the best chance of the game, and in fortuitous fashion as a loosely cleared ball was hoofed back into the area and met by David Orem. He had just the keeper to beat but inexplicably went for a loop, which was well read by James Saruni, who only made one step back and made an easy save.
A late push by Ulinzi Stars would only see the impressive Michael Otieno booked for obstructing the keeper on a restart and the home team was left thoroughly disappointed.
Ulinzi Stars starting XI: Saruni James (GK) (c), Birgen Brian, Mwale Harun, Andayi Boniface, Alex Masinde, Ongoma Bernard, Waweru Daniel, Kago John, Masita Masuta, Nandwa Elvis, Michael Otieno.
Bench: Odhiambo Timothy (GK), Byron Odiaga, Abdalla Hamisi, Oliver Ruto, Shambi Ibrahim, Churchill Muloma, Quintine Indeche, Njuguna John, Wamalwa Oscar, Bikokwa Mark, Omondi Clinton, Onyango Boniface.
Bidco United starting XI: Edwin Omwambani (GK), David Kalama, Lambert Otieno, Francis Oduor, Kassim Mwinyi, Jacob Onyango, Zacharia Gathu, Nelson Chieta, Emmanuel Mogaka, Stephen Waruru, Piston Mutamba.
Bench: Omar Adisa (GK), Wilson Anekeya, Anthony Simasi, Dennis Monda, Stephen Obukui, David Orem, Eric Gichimu, Henry Omollo, Wilfred Kipruto.