July 10, 2021 Patrick Korir

City Stars take down Ulinzi

City Stars striker Nicholas Kipkirui celebrates his opening goal against Ulinzi Stars at the ASK Showground on Sat 10 Jul 2021. City Stars won the round 24 Premier League game 2-0

Nairobi City Stars handed Ulinzi Stars a 2-0 defeat at the ASK Showground on Saturday 10 July 2021 in a round 25 Betking Premier League tie.

Goals by striker Nicholas Kipkirui and left-back Bolton Omwenga inside the first ten minutes handed Simba wa Nairobi their tenth win of the season to move up to sixth on the 17-team log with 36 points at the close of Saturday games.

Kipkirui, deployed on the left-wing for missing regular Davis Agesa, fired home from the left off a defensive blunder by Ulinzi to beat keeper Timothy Odhiambo – in for James Saruni – for the opening goal on six minutes.

And four minutes later City Stars had a freekick from 30 yards out. Bolton – later named MVP of the game for his defensive prowess – smacked it all the way home to double the lead.

City Stars started the game with high pressure and inside four minutes had forced two corners.

In between the two goals, Ulinzi had ventured into the City Stars box only to have the ball cleared out of danger.

Though down, Ulinzi had all the chances to, at the very least, get a goal before the water break, or level the game. But near misses defined their evening.

On 12 minutes right-back Brian Birgen fired out a freekick from a good range. Four minutes later Ibrahim Shambi sent out an attempt from atop the box when he had a clear view of the goal.

A minute later Shambi had the miss of the season; he sneaked into the penalty area behind City Stars stoppers Kenedy Onyango and Wycliffe Otieno, chested down a perfect delivery from John Njuguna, only to turn and sky the ball when it was easier to beat Steve Njunge in goal.

That miss served up the tone of Ulinzi’s evening even though they ran at City Stars with more purpose in search of goals.

After the water break, John Kago had attempted a shot on goal before stopper Alex Masinde placed a wayward header off a corner earned from a Harun Mwale freekick.

A Shambi miss on 32 minutes was followed by two unaccounted freekicks by Birgen minutes later.

Six minutes to the breather Masita Masuta had a glorious chance to pull back a goal only to have his header off a Birgen freekick head out.

But as Ulinzi searched for the goal, City Stars could have tripled matters when speedy Oliver Maloba made a mad dash on the right wing, broke into the box, and squared the ball to Peter Opiyo whose shot was blocked for a fruitless corner.

An Ulinzi corner and long ranger from Bolton closed the first half.

At the start of the second half, Ulinzi took out Shambi Ibrahim and Mark Bikokwa and brought on Elvis Nandwa and Enosh Ochieng, respectively.

But it’s Ulinzi that were on the back foot at the onset when a dangerous float from right-back Kevin Chumsy Okumu was headed just wide by Kipkirui.

Nine minutes in a fresh Enosh Ochieng broke into the box to receive a through ball only to be caught marginally offside.

At around the hour mark, Ulinzi added more firepower by bringing on Clinton Omondi and Omar Boraafya for Masita Masuta and John Njuguna.

City Stars responded with a like-for-like replacement of striker Erick Ombija for Ezekiel Odera.

Heading to the second water break Ulinzi could not account for a corner and freekick, and a ping pong in the box was headed out by Enosh Ochieng.

In the 73rd minute, City Stars defensive-mid Sven Yidah let fly a shot from outside the box after being put through with a neat cut-back by skipper Anthony Muki Kimani.

Ten minutes later Ulinzi’s Bernard Ongoma could have grabbed one for Ulinzi when he unleashed a belter only for the ball to echo off the corner of the goal sticks with Njunge well beaten.

But within the next three minutes it was all City Stars as new arrival Ombija controlled the ball twice and fired at goal but on both occasions was denied by keeper Odhiambo.

A save by either keeper in the final minutes of the game, off a shot by John Kago and Kipkirui, and a final corner and freekick from Ulinzi brought the action to a close.

As City Stars settled for sixth at the close of Saturday games, Ulinzi remained tenth with 28 points after suffering their third straight defeat at the ASK Showground.

Up next for City Stars is a date with Champions Gor Mahia at Ruaraka on Saturday 17 July 2021 starting 3pm.

Lineups

Ulinzi Stars: 13. Timothy Odhiambo, 35. Brian Birgen, 30. Harun Mwale, 39. Alex Masinde, 2. Byron Odiaga, 21. Bernard Ongoma, 11. John Njuguna (Omar Boraafya-61), 8. John Kago, 17. Mark Bikokwa (25. Enosh Ochieng-46), 10. Masita Masuta Bitolwa (7. Clinton Omondi-61), 29. Shambi Ibrahim (37. Elvis Nandwa-46)

Unused subs: 20. Jackton Odhiambo, 38. Quintine Indeche, 36. Edicah Mukolwe, 24. Oscar Wamalwa,

Coach: Benjamin Nyangweso

Nairobi City Stars: 23. Steve Njunge (GK), 26. Bolton Omwenga, 25. Kenedy Onyango, 22. Wycliffe Otieno, 19. Kevin Okumu, 18. Sven Yidah, 10. Peter Opiyo, 30. Anthony Kimani (2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo-80), 17. Nicholas Kipkirui-58), 21. Oliver Maloba (20. Timothy Noor Ouma-90+), 32. Ezekiel Odera (24. Erick Ombija-63)

Unused Subs: 1. Elvis Ochoro (GK), 8. Calvin Masawa,12. Edwin Buliba, 9. Vincent Otieno Okoth, 5. Wesley Onguso, 27. Azizi Okaka,

Not considered: 6. Ronney Kola, 14. Rowland Makati (both on loan at Nairobi Stima), 16. Jacob Osano (GK), 4. Salim Abdalla, 15. John Kamau, 29. Ebrima Sanneh, 7. Rodgers Okumu, 11. Davis Agesa, 28. Herit Mungai Atariza, 3. Charles Otieno,

Coach: Sanjin Alagic

Yellow cards;

Ulinzi Stars: 8. John Kago (52)

Nairobi City Stars: 32. Ezekiel Odera (38), 30. Anthony Kimani (49), 22. Wycliffe Otieno (61), Kenedy Onyango (87)

Striker Erick Ombija on the ball against Ulinzi Stars during a matchday 25 Betking Premier League tie at the ASK Showground in Nakuru on Sat 10 Jul 2021. Nairobi City Stars won the game 2-0

Elvis, City Stars

Elvis Noor Ojiambo has a go at Ulinzi Stars’ Brian Birgen during a matchday 25 Betking Premier League tie at the ASK Showground in Nakuru on Sat 10 Jul 2021. Nairobi City Stars won the game 2-0

Chumsy , City Stars

Kevin Okumu goes for the ball with Ulinzi Stars’ John Njuguna during a matchday 25 Betking Premier League tie at the ASK Showground in Nakuru on Sat 10 Jul 2021. Nairobi City Stars won the game 2-0

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