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Ulinzi get perfect send-off for Military Games

Ulinzi Stars players celebrate one of their goals during the 5-1 win over Mathare United in a Kenyan Premier League match on April 23, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 22 – After a run of three consecutive losses, Ulinzi Stars finally bounced back to winning ways with a 1-0 victory over Chemelil Sugar at the Afraha Stadium on Tuesday, giving them a perfect send off as they leave for the East Africa Military Games on Thursday.

Daniel Waweru converted a 16th minute penalty after a handball inside the box to give the soldiers a huge sigh of relief, a result that hoisted them to fourth spot on the Kenyan Premier League table.

“It is such a huge relief for us because our confidence had been greatly eroded after the three consecutive losses. At least, we can now get our focus straight after the victory and though it was not the most efficient of wins, it is going to give us a lot of morale,” Nyangweso told Capital Sport.

The military side travel to Bujumbura, Burundi where they will represent the Kenya Defence Forces in the annual EAC Military Festival, heading in as the defending champions.

The timely break, Nyangweso says will give them time to re-focus their energies and come back for their league campaign with renewed vigour.

“It is great for us to go to Burundi after winning and our target is to defend our title. If we do so, we will come back with even more confidence to continue with our fight for the KPL title,” the tactician said.

Meanwhile, more matches will be played on Wednesday as KPL clubs grapple with a tightened fixture to make up for the two match-days lost due to the break occasioned by the General Election. Seven matches will be on cards across different venues.

Sofapaka head coach Sam Ssimbwa shouts out instructions to his players during a Kenyan Premier League match against Nakumatt FC at the Ruaraka Complex on July 1, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Second placed Sofapaka host Nzoia Sugar at the Kasarani Stadium, beaming with confidence they can keep up with their perfect run that has seen them win three games on the trot.

They are only four points off leaders Gor Mahia who play Posta Rangers in the late kick off and a win coupled by a drop of points from K’Ogalo will see them close the gap.

“Nzoia is a very good team with young and speedy players. It is not a team we can afford to underrate. They have been on a good run as well and we should be able to keep up with our hard work which has been giving in good results,” Sofapaka assistant coach John Baraza said.

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Nzoia who are seventh on the log come into the fixture off a 1-0 loss away to Thika United, a result that deflated their positive run of three successive wins.

Meanwhile, Kariobangi Sharks will be at home at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos taking on a rejuvenated Western Stima. Sharks have not won over their last four games, picking two consecutive losses over their last two assignments.

Kariobangi Sharks players celebrate one of their two goals against Sony Sugar in a Kenyan Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on May 5, 2017. PHOTO/Courtesy

However, the Premier League newbie’s will rely on the motivation from their 5-0 thrashing of Eldoret Youth in the GOtv Shield over the weekend.

“Though it was against a lower tier team, the motivation we got there was massive. It has given us a good push and the players are determined to get back to winning ways. Stima is a good side because they have registered good results against top teams. It will not be easy,” Sharks boss William Muluya noted.

Stima are placed 17th on the log with only three points off bottom placed Muhoroni Youth and are hungry for three points. The first leg between the two sides ended 1-1, but Henry Omino’s powermen have vowed to get all three this time round.

KPL midweek fixtures:

Kakamega Homeboyz v Bandari (Mumias), Kariobangi Sharks v Western Stima (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Sofapaka v Nzoia Sugar, Gor Mahia v Posta Rangers (Moi Stadium Kasarani), Mathare United v Nakumatt (Ruaraka Complex), Muhoroni Youth v Thika United (Muhoroni), Sony Sugar v Zoo Kericho (Awendo).

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