June 6, 2021 Patrick Korir

Betway Cup: City Stars march past Ulinzi

Kevin Okumu leads City Stars parade after Nicholas Kipkirui's opening goal against Ulinzi Stars in a BetWay Cup round of 16 clash at Ruaraka on Sun 6 June 2021. City Stars won 2-0

Nairobi City Stars qualified for the Betway Cup quarterfinals to face Bidco United after marching past Ulinzi Stars 2-0 at Ruaraka grounds on Sunday 6 June 2021.

A goal in either half by strikers Nicholas Kipkirui – his first ever for the club – and another by Davis Agesa, off two assists by skipper Anthony Muki Kimani, handed Simba wa Nairobi the ticket out of the round of 16 to the last eight.

Ulinzi provided the earliest of appetizers for the game when, two minutes in, lively winger Clinton Omondi slinked down the right wind before pulling the trigger only for the ball to fly wide.

Five minutes later Ulinzi’s towering striker Oscar Wamalwa raced into the box only for City Stars stopper Kenedy Onyango to steal the ball on the tackle to clear out the danger.

In between the two attempts by Ulinzi, City Stars had a freekick driven to the Ulinzi box by Muki only for a few players to be caught offside.

A Bolton Omwenga freekick, a Sven Yidah shot on goal and, one more from flyer Rodgers Okumu off a perfect pass from Agesa, and a freekick by Kimani were the activities from City Stars within a span of five minutes after Wamalwa was stopped by Onyango.

All that while it is Ulinzi Stars that dominated the midfield with John Njuguna and John Kago pulling the strings.

On 17 minutes, City Stars thought they had found the opener when the ball, off a Bolton corner, bounced off Kipkirui into the net. It was ruled offside.

Two minutes later, stopper Onyango had to work overtime to clear a good buildup from midfield by Ulinzi. The ball finally ended up with City Stars keeper Steve Njunge.

Right after the water break, it was all Ulinzi who forced three corners and two freekicks taken within two minutes

On 29 minutes, City Stars speedster Okuse burst into the Ulinzi box but instead of taking a shot on goal, he squared a pass that was cleared by Ulinzi.

Three minutes later, Kipkirui won a freekick following a challenge by Ulinzi stopper Alex Masinde. Muki floated the ball into the box and it is Kipkirui who connected to it after keeper James Sarunsi punched the ball his way to activate the scoresheet with his maiden goal for Simba wa Nairobi. 

The goal spurred Ulinzi and four minutes later, Clinton off the right fired a shot goalward but missed the target by inches.

City Stars could have doubled the lead not too long after only for Bolton to fire high a neat Muki pass at the edge of the box.

The last three minutes to the breather had Ulinzi stationed at City Stars area. A wasted corner, a Clinton shot straight at Njunge, and a well-timed header by Masita Masuta were the final set of actions in the first half.

The second half kicked off with the introduction of Omar Boraafya for an out marked Wamalwa as Ulinzi looked to bolster their attack.

A minute after the change, City Stars were 2-0 up after Agesa dispossessed keeper James Saruni who failed to contain a Muki through ball to score from a tight angle.

The ball seemed to be headed out but Saruni chose to stop it and made a mess of it to gift Agesa his first-ever domestic cup goal for City Stars.

It could have been worse for Ulinzi had Sven buried a good buildup and Kipkirui connected to a Bolton freekick all within seven minutes of the second goal.

Heading to the second-half water break, Eric Ombija was introduced for Rodgers Okumu who couldn’t handle the physicality of the game as Ulinzi brought in midfielder Kelvin Thairu for Masuta and defender Bonaventure Muchika for Clinton.

Moments later Sven met a cutback and fired goalward only for Saruni to get a finger to it and force a fruitless corner. On the other end, Ulinzi could not account for a shot from Njuguna as it was wayward.

For the rest of the half, Njunge was called to action on a few occasions to thwart a header from Muchika and freekick from Njuguna and another header from left-back Harun Mwale.

City Stars were to end the game with a miscued lob from substitute Ombija.

Next up for Simba wa Nairobi is the last eight-game with Bidco United at the Thika Stadium on Wednesday 9 June 2021 starting 1pm.

To land Ulinzi Stars in the round of 16, City Stars took out Fortune Sacco 1-0 at Kianyaga Stadium on Sunday in the round of 32.


Nairobi City Stars: 23. Steve Njunge (GK), 26. Bolton Omwenga, 4. Salim Abdalla, 25. Kenedy Onyango (22. Wycliffe Otieno-85), 19. Kevin Okumu, 18. Sven Yidah (21. Oliver Maloba-85),  10. Peter Opiyo, 30. Anthony Kimani – Captain (2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo-74), 7. Rodgers Okumu (24. Erick Ombija-58), 11. Davis Agesa, 17. Nicholas Kipkirui (32. Ezekiel Odera-85)

Unused subs: 16. Jacob Osano, 8. Calvin Masawa, 12. Edwin Buliba, 29. Ebrima Sanneh

Not considered: 6. Ronney Kola, 14. Rowland Makati (both on loan at Nairobi Stima), 1. Elvis Ochoro (GK), 20. Timothy Ouma, 28. Herit Mungai Atariza, 15. John Kamau, 5. Wesley Onguso, 9. Vincent Otieno Okoth, 3. Charles Otieno, 27. Azizi Okaka

Coach: Sanjin Alagic

Ulinzi Stars: 1. James Saruni – Captain, 35. Brian Birgen, 30. Harun Mwale, 39. Alex Masinde, 15. George Omondi, 18 Bonface Onyango, 11. John Njuguna, 8. John Kago, 24. Oscar Wamalwa (23. Omar Boraafya-46), 10. Masita Masuta Bitolwa (32. Kelvin Thairu-60), 7. Clinton Omondi (12. Bonaventure Muchika-60)

Unused subs: 20. Jackton Odhiambo, 21. Bernard Ongoma, 34. Abdalla Hamisi, 28. Churchill Muloma, 29. Ibrahim Shambi,

Coach: Benjamin Nyangweso

Yellow cards

Nairobi City Stars: 4. Salim Abdalla, 25. Kenedy Onyango (both on 22′), 10. Peter Opiyo (41), 30. Anthony Kimani (75), 4. Elvis Noor Ojiambo (89)

Ulinzi Stars: None

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