Ulinzi Stars are in danger of missing out of KPL Top 8 tournament after falling to Sofapaka, who now reclaim second position from AFC Leopards’
Former Kenya Premier League champions Ulinzi Stars went for eighth straight match without a win after a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Sofapaka on Monday at City Stadium.
Ulinzi Stars showed an off color performance as Batoto ba Mungu raced back to second position on the log emphatically coming off last week’s disappointing defeat to Gor Mahia that blew their title ambitions.
Ulinzi started the match well and could have taken the lead early. Duncan Ochieng’ produced a fine save to deny Evans Amwoka, who curved in a left footed shot in the 5th minute. On 12 minutes, Kevin Amwayi, who was by far Ulinzi’s best player, tried to loop over Duncan Ochieng’, who was off his line but his effort, went wide.
Salim Mohamed tried his luck from distance but he only came second best as Duncan Ochieng’ comfortably saved off his effort. Sofapaka finally broke the deadlock in the 30th minute through goal poacher John Baraza, who struck a wonderful shot with his left foot leaving James Saruni star struck.
Ulinzi’s defense was caught napping as Johnson Bagoole sliced in a low pass from midfield to catch Baraza on top of the area. Ulinzi attempted to cut the game back to parity in the early minutes of the second half with Elvis Nandwa having the best chance on 49 minutes. However, the former Mathare United man tapped wide after Geoffrey Kokoyo had flicked on Mulinge Ndetto’s long throw.
Stephen Waruru, who had come on for Salim Mohammed, saw his free-kick well saved by Duncan Ochieng’ after Kevin Amwayi had been hacked by Felly Mulumba at the edge of the box.
With the missed chances, Sofapaka upped the tempo again and they had their chances count. Bob Mugalia popped in James Situma’s pass after beating the high Ulinzi Stars offside trap. The Congolese-turned Kenyan looped over an advancing James Saruni into an empty net.
Antony Kimani struck a sublime beauty in 75th minute from the right, catching Ulinzi keeper James Saruni flat footed, shooting into the top left of Saruni’s goal from the edge of the box to compound Salim Ali’s woes. Not even a late fight back by the soldiers could prevent the heavy defeat, their highest of the season. They are now in danger of falling off the Top 8.