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Sharks thrash Ulinzi to sail into Shield final

Kariobangi Sharks’ Erick Kapaito against Ulinzi Stars GK Timothy Odhiambo. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 – For the second season in a row, Kariobangi Sharks reached the finals of the SportPesa Shield following their 4-1 victory over Ulinzi Stars in the first semi-final hosted at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani on Sunday.

Duke Abuya opened the scoring four minutes after kick-off before Shaphan Oyugi added the second while Erick Kapiato notched a brace. Ulinzi got a consolation from in stoppage time from Cliff Kasuti.

Sharks will meet Sofapaka, the 2014 champions who bundled out defending champions AFC Leopards on a 1-0 score-line.

Kariobangi Sharks players celebrating. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

Sharks will be looking to go one better and clinch their first ever Shield title that will guarantee them a slot at next year’s CAF Confederation Cup.

Former Mathare United winger Harrison Mwendwa was the chief orchestrator, handing the Ulinzi Stars midfielder a hard time as he provided the first assist, setting up Abuya with a low cross to tap in far post.

Mwendwa was at it again, this time swinging a cross to find Oyugi who in-turn beat Ulinzi shot-stopper Timothy Odhiambo to double the lead.

Ulinzi Stars players disappointed after being bundled out of Shield by Sharks. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

The soldiers found themselves trailing three goals down after deadly striker Kapaito capitalized on defensive blunder to punish Ulinzi in the 19th minute as Sharks comfortably led 3-0 at the interval.

The second half was even better for Sharks who completely shut Ulinzi’s midfield with Kapaito Kapaito completing his brace through a well measured cross inside the box.

Substitute Kasuti handed Ulinzi a consolation goal in the 90th minute after Elvis Nandwa’s shot hit the woodwork for Kasuti to connect the rebound.

The loss crashed Ulinzi’s hopes of returning to the Shield final for the first time since 2016 when they lost to Tusker FC 1-0.

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