Ulinzi Stars registered their third win of the season after beating Sofapaka 2-0 in the two sides’ BetKing Premier League (BKPL) encounter at Kericho Green Stadium on Friday 19th February.
The Soldiers sealed the game with two quick strikes from Omar Boraafya and Oscar Wamalwa early in the second half, after a lackluster first period that saw the teams struggle to create much.
The tone of the game was announced very early on with both sides going physical, which saw Ulinzi Stars midfielder Bernard Ongoma booked in the second minute. Scuffles ensued time and again as the contests grew, at some point even the Ulinzi Stars coach Benjamin Nyangweso was booked as adrenaline rushed.
Ulinzi had the best chances in of the first half with Bernard Ongoma forcing Sofapaka keeper Moubarak Aigba to a fine save as he headed goal-ward from a Clinton Omondi corner. A few moments later the keeper was called to action again by Omondi, needing to spread himself to kick clear a goal bound curler from close range.
Sofapaka were lucky to go to the break on a clean sheet but Nyangweso pulled a fast one on them at the start of the second. He made three straight changes, pulling out John Njuguna, Clinton Omondi and Masita Masuta. Their places were taken by Boraafya Omar, Daniel Waweru and Oscar Wamalwa.
The trio breathed a new lease of life in the team and the impact was immediate. In the 47th minute, Waweru swung in a cross from a free kick that Wamalwa met but his header flew just wide.
If that attempt was a warning shot, then the soldiers fired home two minutes later. Waweru was the creator again, with a well weighted cross from the right which Wamalwa missed but Boraafya was well placed to direct home for the opener.
The second goal came four minutes later, from the penalty spot after Titus Achesa had handled in the box. Wamalwa took the responsibility and with a lot of ease dispatched the ball in the net, sending the keeper the wrong way.
It could have been worse for Sofapaka as their relentless search for a goal saw everyone pour forward and Waweru saw the goalkeeper off his line, unleashing a belter that was destined for the top corner. However, the keeper back tracked and tipped it over for a corner.
Timothy Otieno and Lawrence Juma did have decent attempts, both from long range. First, Saruni dived well to punch away Juma’s delivery from a free kick and handled well a snap shot from Otieno who had managed to sneak one past the water tight Ulinzi defence.
At the end of it, it was Ulinzi who rose on the table, to seventh place with 17 points from 12 matches, while Sofapaka stayed ninth with 14 points.