NAIROBI, Kenya, August 2- Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions, Ulinzi Stars are out to seize the initiative handed to them after escaping a potentially daunting six-point deduction to mount their title charge in earnest.
The titleholders, who are among the five teams perched on the congested peak of the KPL standings with only four points separating them, were initially docked points for missing their league encounters against Chemelil and Sofapaka.
Ulinzi were away in Brazil for the World Military Games when they were due to play the two clubs and their coach, Benjamin Nyangweso said Tuesday the decision to re-schedule the affected fixtures had spurred his team’s title push.
“We are delighted the clubs have agreed to play the two matches at a later date because the decision to deny us the points was unfair since we were on national duty and everyone knew that,” Nyangweso charged.
“Due to the understanding, we are motivated to compete in this tough league and I offer my gratitude to Sofapaka and Chemelil. The league is very competitive and losing six points would have been a blow.”
Having initially awarded three points a piece to Chemelil and Sofapaka, KPL sided with the club’s agreement and the relief in the military men ranks was manifested when they beat title rivals KCB 1-0 away last weekend on their league return.
“It was a hard game and we expect more of those until the end of the season but beating a team of such quality as KCB shows we are capable of matching the best and we will compete until the end,” Nyangweso observed.
On the Brazil experience where the team lost two and won one of their matches while pooled with Egypt (1-4), France (3-0) and Ecuador (0-1), the coach expressed, “The tournament gave the team more exposure and highlighted our weaknesses that we will work on.”
Owing to the reversal of the decision to dock the team points, Ulinzi have two matches on hand against leaders Rangers but Nyangweso says this does not guarantee the advantage to his side.
“I cannot say that will benefit us in any way since we are yet to play the games and we could lose both. What is important is for the team to keep its focus for all games since the team with the most consistent run will win the league.”
Rangers lead the table on 33 points, tied with second placed Tusker with the military men and Gor Mahia three points adrift. KCB are a further point in arrears.
Gor welcome Tusker at Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday.