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Mathare off to a flier as Gor, Ulinzi stumble in KPL U-20

Ulinzi Stars’ Stephen Mueni vies for the ball against a Western Stima opponent in a KPL U20 match played at the Camp Toyoyo ground onDecember 17, 2016/PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 17- Kenyan Premier League Under-20 Championship holders Mathare United started their title defense on a thunderous note after whitewashing Muhoroni Youth 4-0 as the tournament kicked off on Saturday at the Camp Toyoyo Ground.

In other matches played on day one of the December edition, April champions Ulinzi Stars suffered a disappointing start after losing 1-0 to 2011 champions Western Stima while last year’s finalists Gor Mahia lost 2-1 to Posta Rangers.

Chemelil came out top in the sugar belt derby beating Sony 2-1 in a highly competitive afternoon kick off.

In the early game of the day, Mathare United, under the tutelage of experienced coach Gabriel ‘Kingi’ Njoroge showed their intent with David Ouma and Abdallah Ahmed grabbing two each in the goal-fest.

Ahmed scored his first with a simple header from a Mangalo Ongori cross and added his second five minutes to the break from a Peter Wanyonyi pass. Ouma then hit another second half brace with Mathare completing their total dominance with a fine display.

In the second match of the day, despite putting in first team player Amos Nondi into the squad, Gor Mahia could not topple the precision of Posta Rangers who are angling to get to the semi finals after coming close in August.

But Gor will have their goalkeeper to blame after playing a massive role for both of Posta’s goals. An intended pass to Harambee Stars U20 defender Teddy Osok was intercepted by George Kimani who made most of the gift by chipping over the keeper.

Five minutes later, Osok and his keeper were at fault for Posta’s second, this time Osok trying to pick a back pass to his keeper which was intercepted by Clinton Obasanjo who slotted home easily.

Gor halved the deficit a few minutes to the breather through Nashion Thiong’o who headed home an Ismail Musa cross.

In the second half, Posta put numbers behind and managed to consolidate the result despite increased pressure from the K’Ogalo juniors.

Chemelil Sugar came out top in teh sugar belt derby of the KPL U20 match agaionst Chemelil Sugar on December 17, 2016. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

The late kick off saw April winners Ulinzi Stars lose by a solitary goal scored by another kenya U20 star Musa Masika, younger brother to harambee Stars winger Ayub Timbe.

The Laiser Hill School winger got the all important goal in the third minute of the match, looping the ball over the advancing Brian Bwire in the Ulinzi goal after a defensive mishap.

Despite the loss, the Ulinzi Warriors were a complete dominant side, though flash moments of Musa Masika’s brilliance kept their backline on toes.

Stephen Mueni had a chance to draw his side level ten minutes after conceding but he couldn’t get off his feet faster from a Philip Mayaka through ball with the Stima keeper John Otieno sliding in for the ball.

Movin Ochieng also came close with a well weighted shot from a Moses Mwangi tee, but the effort went just wide.

They had the best chance of the match 15 minutes to time but substitute Martin Francis failed to head into a gaping goalmouth after being picked up unmarked from a Mwangi cross.

They will now have to win against table leaders Posta in their next match to keep their quarters hopes alive. Second placed Stima will play Gor Mahia.

On Sunday, Ushuru will play nairobi City Stars, Tusker plays AFC Leopards, Bandari plays Sofapaka while April finalists Kakamega Homeboyz tackle Thika United.