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Attack worries Nyangweso ahead of Confederations Cup

Ulinzi Stars forward Oscar Wamalwa takes on a Mathare United defender during a pre-season friendly match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on January 28, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 29- Ulinzi Stars head coach Benjamin Nyangweso is worried that his attack line is yet to get the finesse he requires, less than two weeks before they play their preliminary round first leg CAF Confederations Cup tie against Libya’s Al Hilal Benghazi.

Nyangweso has singled this out as his first area of concern as the team heads into the final bend of preparation with the first leg tie set for February 10.

“It is a bit worrying because we create many chances in the friendly matches we have played, but we have not had the sharpness and calmness to finish. It is worrying but it is an area we need to work on. Also, we have some bit of lapses in defense but they are small mistakes we hope to correct before our first match,” Nyangweso said.

The military side played their third pre-season friendly match on Saturday evening against fellow Kenyan Premier League side Mathare United, a match that ended 1-1.

New boy Baron Oketch netted for Ulinzi in the second minute of the match but Mathare leveled 10 minutes later through Edwin Mwaura’s penalty after Geoffrey Kokoyo nudged Chris Oduor on the back.

Nyangweso was happy for Oketch having scored his first goal for the soldiers, but wants him to work more to improve his finishing and fitness.

Ulinzi Stars players take a water break during a friendly match against mathare United at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on January 28. 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“It was very important for him to score and I know it is going to give him a lot of confidence. He has improved but still needs to work more. Overall comparing how we played our first friendly match at the beginning of the month and today, the team has really improved. We have to engage in a higher gear now heading closer to the game,” the tactician added.

Meanwhile, Oketch was pleased to break his goal drought and hopes he will keep his scoring boots heading into the competitive games.

“It has been a lot of hard work getting match fit because in the second leg last season I didn’t play many matches. I am glad I am finally getting that touch back and scoring will give me much needed motivation heading forward,” the on-loan Gor Mahia forward commented.

Ulinzi will head to Kisumu this week where they will play two friendly matches, a return against Muhoroni Youth and a final one against Western Stima.

Ulinzi Stars defender Oliver Kiprutto clears the ball during a friendly match against mathare United at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on January 28, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Meanwhile, the first leg Confederations Cup tie against Benghazi will be played in an empty military Stadium in Cairo on February 10 due to the current security situation in Libya.

“We received a letter from CAF that the letter will be played in an empty stadium at the Cairo Military Academy because of the security situation in Libya and according to our primary plans, we will travel to Cairo on February 6,” Ulinzi vice chair Major Joel Birgen told Capital Sport.

At the same time, the team’s wish to have their CAF home games at their traditional Afraha Stadium home ground in Nakuru has been rejected and they will now play at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani.