Nakumatt 1-2 Ulinzi Stars: Onyango, Mbongi net as soldiers to go top

Samuel Onyango and Omar Mbongi netted a goal apiece as Ulinzi Stars gunned down Nakumatt 2-1 at Ruaraka grounds on Saturday to leapfrog Posta Rangers to the top of the SportPesa Premier League.

Onyango drew the first blood two minutes after the break before substitute Joshua Oyoo equalised on the hour mark.

Kenyan international Mbongi headed home the winner three minutes from time from a Daniel Waweru corner kick to ensure Benjamin Nyangweso’s charges go to the summit of the standings.

Ulinzi were unlucky not to have taken the lead in the first half after commanding the better part of the game.

They had numerous scoring chances that would have separated the two sides.

The league’s top scorer, Stephen Waruru had the first opening after 11 minutes but goalkeeper Sammy Okinda was fast in his reaction after the striker had been released by Geoffrey Kokoyo’s long pass.

Three minutes later, the Soldiers earned three consecutive corners but all were repulsed by the Nakumatt back line led by former AFC Leopards man Eugene Ambulwa.

Nakumatt, eager to record their seventh win of the season, threatened through Robert Omunuk and Ronald Musana on the flanks. Omunuk had his 18th minute free kick go wide after a foul on Kepha Aswani outside the area.

OMONUK_PIZX Nakumatt 1-2 Ulinzi Stars: Onyango, Mbongi net as soldiers to go top

Nakumatt winger Robert Omunuk (left) shields the ball from Ulinzi Stars defender Brian Birgen during their SportPesa Premier League match at Ruaraka grounds on July 15, 2017. PHOTO | VINCENT OPIYO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Ten minutes later, Nicholas Mejja’s inswinging cross after a fine run on the right flank was easily held by Jacktone Odhiambo in Ulinzi’s goal.

The 2010 champions wasted a golden chance on the half hour mark. Daniel Waweru and Waruru exchanged quick passes but Churchill Muloma failed to connect to the later’s cross.

Barely two minutes after the restart, Samuel Onyango lurched onto a Daniel Waweru pass and beat Okinda in Nakumatt goal. Their lead didn’t last before Oyoo, who had come on for the off-colour Boniface Akenga in the 58th minute, levelled with his first touch.

Ulinzi recovered in the final 10 where they relentlessly pushed for the winner. Waruru’s 86th minute free kick from the edge was parried by Okinda for a corner that resulted into the winning goal.

“Two costly mistakes contributed to this loss. We failed to utilise our chances which should not be the case at this level. Ulinzi were a better side in the final ten minutes. Their fitness level was the drive over us,” Nakumatt tactician Anthony Mwangi said.

Nyangweso praised his charges for the hard fought victory.

“We now want to maintain this tempo now that we are top of the table. It was a tough game but I am happy we used well our chances to kill off the match,” said Nyangweso.

The Soldiers have amassed 29 points from 16 rounds similar to Posta Rangers but with a superior goal difference. Nakumatt remain on 22 points.

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