Ulinzi Stars failed to build on their midweek win after playing to a 0-0 draw with KCB in a Round 10 BetKing Premier League (BKPL) match staged at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Saturday 30 January.
At the full time whistle, Ulinzi Stars were the more disappointed by the result, and rightly so, after wasting a myriad of open chances as well as hitting the bar late in the second half.
KCB too did have a good chance through Derrick Otanga in the second half but will be more thankful for the point gained than the dropped two.
Early in the game, Masita Masuta, having read the KCB moves and passing, stole in and won the ball with the keeper exposed but his first touch was heavy and the ball drifted out to safety.
Bernard Ongoma too got to the end of a good Ulinzi move and went for a shot, but that went straight to Gabriel Andika’s waiting hands.
The Bankers did get their moves right in the 11th minute after building from their half and the overlapping Baraka Badi opted for a shot from the edge of the box but the ball flew high and wide.
Five minutes later, KCB should have taken the lead as David Owino floated in a great cross, but Vincent Wasambo headed wide from five yards.
Miscommunication in defence
A rare moment of miscommunication at the KCB backline saw Ulinzi Stars’ Oscar Wamalwa win the ball under pressure and went for a loop over Andika but the keeper’s slight touch sent the ball out for a corner.
Ten minutes into the second half Churchill Muloma was withdrawn and Elvis Nandwa sent on, a change that brought more pace in the Ulinzi midfield. More balls were passed forward but Masita Masuta and Oscar Wamalwa were wasteful.
The hosts were almost made to pay for their wastefulness upfront as a KCB attack in the 58th minute released Derrick Otanga who had only James Saruni to beat. The keeper raced out and read well Otanga’s ideas, standing firm to win the ball at the edge of the box. Otanga’s claims that he’s stepped out met a deaf ear from the referee.
Thrice thereafter, Wamalwa was clean on goal but poor decision making made him rush to a weak shot before heading poorly to Andika after being fed good crosses on two occasions.
Wamalwa did win a free kick for the Soldiers late on but Daniel Waweru’s delivery crashed off the bar and back to play.
A point gained saw Ulinzi Stars move two places up to sixth ahead of the Sunday matches, with 13 points, while KCB stayed top on 22 points.
Ulinzi Stars Starting XI: Saruni James (GK) (c), Odiaga Byron, Mwale Harun, Andayi Boniface, Muchika Bonaventure, Ongoma Bernard, Waweru Daniel, Kago John, Wamalwa Oscar, Masita Masuta (71′ Shambi Ibrahim), Muloma Churchill (55′ Nandwa Elvis).
Unused subs: Odhiambo Timothy (GK), Abdalla Hamisi, Indeche Quintine, Milimo Francis, Njuguna John, Ruto Oliver, Omondi Clinton, Mukolwe Edgar, Bikokwa Mark.
KCB FC Starting XI: Andika Gabriel (GK), Baraka Badi, Dennis Odhiambo, Bethuel Achola, Nahashon Nanyendo, Michael Mutinda, Simon Munala (c) (66′ Victor Omondi), Vincent Wasambo, Derrick Otanga (66′ Reagan Otieno), Henry Onyango (80′ Samuel Mwangi), David Owino.
Unused subs: Joseph Ochuka (GK), Brian Ndenga, Daniel Odiwuor, Thomas Harun, Brian Wepo, Martin Mbugua, Ian MotandaAntonio Abwao, Rama Mwenda.
Yellow cards: 86′ Bernard Ongoma (Ulinzi Stars), 77′ Nahashon Nanyendo (KCB)