Sport

KCB rally to hit Ulinzi Stars, cut Tusker's lead

KCB rally to hit Ulinzi Stars, cut Tusker's lead

Ulinzi Stars' Omar Borafya (left) vies for the ball with KCB's Brian Ndenga during their Football Kenya Federation Premier League match at Thika Stadium on July 21, 2021.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

KCB on Wednesday beat Ulinzi Stars 2-1 at Thika Stadium in Kiambu to move within four points of leaders Tusker in the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL).

David Simiyu struck the winner for KCB at death after dribbling well inside the Ulinzi box.

Masita Masuta had fired the soldiers ahead at the stroke of halftime, but striker Derrick Otanga levelled for the bankers on 53 minutes from the spot.

KCB, who are chasing their maiden league title, are now on 51points, four behind leaders Tusker and with a game in hand. Ulinzi remain 10th on 34 points.

KCB's coach Zedekiah Otieno said the win is a big motivation to them moving forward. He downplayed claims by Ulinzi 's coach Benjamin Nyangweso that they were favoured by the match officials.

"It (complaining about poor officiating) is something that these coaches nowadays do after every match that go against them. I think the referees should just continue officiating without getting into any wars with the coaches," said Otieno, who has also previously blamed poor officiating in several matches that have gone against them.

Coach Nyangweso said: "There is no need for us to play if the officiating is this poor. The two penalties were not genuine and it demoralises the team. It is like the referees have been bought."

KCB would have had a perfect start against Ulinzi, but striker Otanga's penalty in the second minute after Samuel Mwangi was fouled inside the box, hit the post.

The match continued go gather pace with Brian Birgen being booked in the 26th minute following a dangerous tackle on Michael Oduor, before Otanga forced goalkeeper James Saruni to a fine save seven minutes later.

Striker Masuta made KCB rue their missed chances when he struck for the soldiers in first-half added time.

He controlled the ball well on his chest, before beating his marker inside the box to slot home. The bankers almost equalised immediately, but Bonventure Muchika cleared Oduor's shot on the line.

Otanga made amends for his first half penalty miss on 53 minutes, this time successfully scoring from the spot after Harun Mwale was adjudged to have handled Simiyu's cross inside the box.

Simiyu sealed all the points for KCB with a late superb finish after dribbling well inside the soldiers area.