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Tusker 0-0 Ulinzi Stars: Champions held

Tusker 0-0 Ulinzi Stars: Champions held

Timothy Olubulu.

Tusker had the upper hand in the first period but allowed the visitors to enjoy possession in the closing minutes of the game, but no team won maximum points

Ulinzi Stars held defending champions Tusker to a barren draw in a league match played at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.

Tusker had the upper hand in the first period but allowed the visitors to enjoy possession in the closing minutes of the game, but no team did anything to change the scoreline.

Salim Ali, Ulinzi Stars’ coach started off the match with a 4-5-1 formation, having Wycliffe Ochomo as the lone striker upfront, Oliver Agwanda playing between him and the midfield partnership of Stephen Ochollah and Erick Apul.

On the wings, Kelvin Simiyu and Chester Okoyo were tasked with bringing in the supplies. However, Tusker duo of Khalid Aucho and Collins 'Gattuso” Okoth were the brighter side in midfield, winning most of the tackles and 50-50 balls.

But Ulinzi’s strength remained their tight and disciplined defense which at times was tasked with the heavier duty when their midfield was overwhelmed.

Geffrey Kokoyo making his first start in four matches, showed no signs of lack of match fitness as he kept his steadiness on the right, most of the time forcing the industrious Robert Omunuk to shift wings when the going got tougher.

On the other end, Wyclife Ochomo was in good shape as he took on David Ochieng, who was tasked with handling him, one or two times beating him but the goal was never coming.

Ochomo had a chance to open the scores in the 19th minute of the game, but his effort was stopped by a steady Samwel Odhiambo in Tusker’s goal.

The second half battle was more attacking than defensive, both teams showing their ante upfront. Ulinzi created the most of the chances in the second period. Stephen Ochollah hit the side netting from Chester Okoyo’s pass while Elvis Nandwa headed just over from Kokoyo’s cross.

The introduction of Michael Olunga and Robert Monda for Tusker and that of Evans Amwoka and Allan Muhati for Ulinzi changed the face of the game as the attack became more intense.

Michael Olunga had a shot go inches wide from just outside the area and so did Monda from Olunga’s assist.

Tusker's Samwel Odhiambo was forced into a point blank save from Evans Amwoka in then75th minute, the striker heading from an Allan Muhati cross.

Muhati was fouled at the edge of the box and he chose to take the resulting free-kick himself, unfortunately he raised it a little bit high above the cross bar.

Geoffrey Kokoyo would almost break the hearts of the Tusker fans in the last minute of added time but he headed just wide from Mulinge Ndetto’s long throw.