Masuta settles Ulinzi thriller as Gor survive scare
Masita Masuta scored the opener and found the winner as Ulinzi Stars came out 3-2 victors from a five-goal Kenyan Premier League (KPL) thriller against Kisumu All Stars at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium on Sunday.
Masuta had put Ulinzi in front when he pounced on a rebound from John Njuguna’s piledriver and another deflected effort fell kindly for Bernard Ongoma who doubled the advantage for the hosts to go 2-0 up at half-time.
All Stars set up a tense final half-hour when Gerishom Arabe beat James Saruni from the penalty spot and Michael Owino scored to level matters before Masuta settled the tie with a powerful headed finish 20 minutes from time.
Victory lifted Ulinzi back to fifth on the KPL standings on 39 points after AFC Leopards had temporarily dislodged them following Saturday’s 2-1 win over Sofapaka FC.
At the Kericho Green Stadium, Gor Mahia FC won 3-2 after battling to break down Zoo FC who led twice on the day but were undone by late goals from Nicholas Kipkirui and Samuel Onyango.
Kepha Ondati scored the opener and Elvis Ronack pulled Gor level but the hosts were back in front courtesy of Mathew Odongo. Kipkirui scored against his former employers for 2-2 and Onyango ensured the visitors avoided an upset with a last-minute winner.
That allowed the leaders to open a five-point advantage at the summit after Tusker FC slipped at home to Wazito FC, conceding a late goal to draw 1-1 at the Ruaraka Grounds.
In Nakuru, Ulinzi capitalised on a fast start with Masita giving Ulinzi an early lead on the sixth minute after Njuguna’s 25-yard attempt had been parried back into play by goalkeeper Gad Mathew.
Ongoma doubled Ulinzi’s lead on 27th minute after John Kago saw his shot blocked. All Stars started the second half on a high note,pressing the home side in their own half.
Two minutes into the second half, Stephen Otieno was fouled inside the penalty box by Bonventure Muchika and Arabe stepped up to send Saruni the rong way.
Ten minutes later, Owino restored parity for the visitors to draw matters level after some good work by Stephen Otieno who driblled past two defenders before teeing up the forward to smash it home.
Coach Benjamin Nyangweso made a quick change ,Enosh Ochieng came off for Ibrahim Shambi as they looked to steer some fresh legs in their attack.
Daniel Waweru thought he had given Ulinzi their third but his free-kick was saved by Gad Mathew to hit the post for a corner.
Seven minutes later,Masita rose up high to head the winner to sink All Stars-Harun Mwale delivering a beautiful cross on the left wing.
All Stars were a much better side in the second half and could have snatched up something but their attackers failed to convert some clear cut chances.
Ulinzi on their side lacked pace in their attack front and head coach Benjamin Nyangweso conceded that it will not be easy to cope without their main man Wamalwa who is ruled out for the remainder of the season.