NAIROBI, September 2 – Ulinzi Stars delayed Gor Mahia’s title-coronation until at least after the international break after beating Western Stima 2-0 in a SportPesa Premier League clash at Kisumu’s Moi Stadium on Wednesday.
Second-half goals from Enos Ochieng and John Makwata saw the Soldiers, who were playing their first match since returning from the East Africa Military Games; cement second spot on 47 points.
Defeat for Ulinzi could have seen champions K’Ogalo need only a point in their remaining six matches to retain the title for a third successive season and sparked off early title celebrations.
In a one sided first-half, Western Stima keeper, Gabriel Andika stood tall in between the sticks to deny Kevin Amwayi, Makwata and John Nairuka while Baron Oketch was wasteful for the hosts.
Andika, the SportPesa Player for The Month of May stopped Amwayi twice four minutes to the breather, when he brilliantly parried away the midfielder’s header and thunderbolt shot to keep his side in the game.
Without dependable players, skipper James Saruni and winger Eric Apul, Ulinzi finally made capital with two goals in 17 second half minutes minutes.
After punching away Amwayi’s attempt, Andika finally saw his clean sheet broken when Joash Onyango handled the ball in the box to gift Robert Matano charges a penalty that Makwata did well to convert for the opener in the 58th.
Two minutes later, Nairuka could have doubled the lead but he found the cross bar moments before captain Geoffrey Kokoyo cleared the ball off the line after his keeper, Francis Ocheing was beaten.
Substitute Ochieng sealed the win in the 75th after Amwayi set him up to dribble pas Andika and drive home into an empty net.
The win put Ulinzi five points ahead of third placed, Sofapaka and 15 behind unbeaten K’Ogalo.