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Ulinzi hold Tusker at Ruaraka

Sunday January 26 2020

Ulinzi Stars forward Enos Ochieng celebrates after scoring against Tusker during their Kenya Premier League match at Ruaraka Grounds on January 26, 2020. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ulinzi Stars forward Enos Ochieng celebrates after scoring against Tusker during their Kenya Premier League match at Ruaraka Grounds on January 26, 2020. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

VICTOR OTIENO             
By VICTOR OTIENO            
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Tusker blew up a chance to return to the summit of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) after settling for a 1-1 draw with Ulinzi Stars at Ruaraka grounds, Nairobi on Sunday.

Kakamega Homeboyz had disloged the brewers from top spot on 39 points following their 2-1 win over Kariobangi Sharks on Saturday.

A win over the soldiers would have seen Tusker lead the standings with 40 points but they are now ranked third with 38 points.

In the only KPL match of the day, Enosh Ochieng struck for Ulinzi in the 43rd minute, before Timothy Otieno equalised for Tusker from the spot in the 65th minute.

Ulinzi coach Benjamin Nyangweso blamed poor officiating for the draw.

"I feel we have lost two points because we played well. The officials also frustrated my players with too many wrong calls," said Nyangweso.

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Tusker coach Robert Matano was satisfied by the result.

"The match was good and boys gave their best. We will look to improve in the next match," said Matano.

Tusker threatened in the first minute, when Luke Namanda turned well at the goal mouth to test goalkeeper Jacktone Odhiambo with a low shot.

Ulinzi responded four minutes later through Enos Ochieng who after latching to a long pass upfront, hurriedly sent a low drive that was saved by Tusker goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure.

John Njuguna almost gave the visiting soldiers the lead in the 12th minute with a left footed shot, which missed the target narrowly.

As the game progressed, Ulinzi grew into the game, using the left flank to launch most of their attacks.

TUSKER SURVIVE

Tusker survived a scare in the 23rd minute when Ibrahim Shambi's header from a corner kick blazed over the crossbar before defender Sammy Meja came to the Brewer's rescue with a timely clearance three minutes later.

Ulinzi took a deserved lead in the 43rd minute when an onrushing Ochieng connected to a cross from the left to beat Mvuyekure with a one-touch finish.

Jackson Macharia should have levelled the score at the stroke of half-time, but he fired wide from close range.

In the 54th minute, Matano withdrew Namanda and Kevin Okoth for George Odhiambo and David Majak respectively.

Substitute Odhiambo wasted a glorious chance to cancel Ulinzi's lead in the 57th minute after his shot flew over the crossbar.

Coach Nyangweso responded to Tusker's changes by bringing in Omar Boraafya for Njuguna.

Ulinzi's best chance of the half arrived in the 63rd minute, when Ochieng set up Shambi who shot wide.

And two minutes later, Otieno picked himself up to convert from the spot after being fouled by Ulinzi goalkeeper Odhiambo in the box.

A nervy finish saw Shambi miss a chance to restore Ulinzi's lead with an overhead kick in the 76th minute, before Majak also wasted Tusker's chance on the other end moments later.

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