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Date: 24 March 2019

  Eastern African - Soccer

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Kenya :Ulinzi wins inaugural Top 8 title

[Posted 27 Jun 2011]
[By Charles Malingha]
Kenya :Ulinzi wins inaugural Top 8 title

Kenyan champions Ulinzi Stars came from behind to defeat gallant Western Stima 2-1 in  a thrilling KPL Top 8 final at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

The wonderful victory saw the soldiers become the inaugural KPL Top Eight Knock-Out champions.

Stima took a first half 37th minute through Aloyce Mangiís header. Ulinzi however showed all their championship credentials to equalize through Stephen Waruru in the 58 minute before Evans Amuoka ensured victory five minutes from time with a screaming effort.

"This feels good. This is so nice," said Ulinzi coach Benjamin Nyangweso after the match.

"We always felt we were the champions and showed it."

It certainly did not start that way for Ulinzi.

Western Stima got off the brightest with verve and purpose with the lively old horse Mark Sirengo and his strike partner Wesley Kemboi attacking the Ulinzi backline with zest.

Kemboi controlled a loose ball, skipped past two tackles and charged into the area unopposed but sent his effort just wide of the outside box in the second minute.

Stima continued to maintain the initiative in the early exchanges. But out of nothing Ulinziís Ismael Juma tested Stima goalkeeper David Juma with a long range effort that awkwardly bounced on the line to be pushed out for a corner.

Ulinzi are not Kenya champions for nothing and they began to gradually assert themselves. They should have been up two goals in a crazy one-minute spell midway through the first half.

First, forward Anthony Nderitu was gifted the ball by a careless defence but with all the time in the world he could only feebly shoot straight at Juma in the 22nd. Moments later Hussein Mohammed picked Stephen Waruru in the box who feigned sweetly to break clear and force a superb save from Juma.

Stima survived to punish Ulinziís wastefulness, Kevin Amwayi floating a cross for Aloyce Maingi to sweetly head to the far corner of the net.

Ulinzi returned after the break with renewed urgency and they deservedly pulled the goal back on 58 minutes.

Central defender Geoffrey Kokoyo drove deep into enemy territory to feed Waruru in the box. With limited options in a congested box, Waruru somehow made a deft half-turn to guide the ball to the far corner.

Second half substitute Amuaka Otieno raced on to a long punt from his half to stun Juma with a vicious strike from the edge of the area that almost reaped the roof of the net.

It was a deserved goal for Ulinzi, who took control of the second half.

Nyangweso said of the comeback: "At the break I told my boys that we were the superior team. I told them we were champions and we needed to play like champions."


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