What you need to know:
- Substitute Erick Otieno headed in the winning goal at the stroke of full time after connecting to Levin Joseph’s cross from the left
- Ulinzi’s duo of Boniface Muchiri and Enosh Ochieng were unlucky as their efforts came off the bar on separate occasions in the second half
- Ulinzi coach Bernard Mwalala said they paid for a concentration lapse in the final minutes of the match
Tusker’s on Saturday kept alive their hopes of bagging a double this season with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Ulinzi Stars in the first semi-final of the Mozzart Bet Cup at Nyayo National Stadium.
Substitute Erick Otieno headed in the winning goal at the stroke of full time after connecting to Levin Joseph’s cross from the left.
After the the match’s final whistle, the brewers’ players celebrated the important win by displaying defender Daniel Sakari’s jersey. Sakari is mourning the demise of his father and was not in the match day squad. Coach Robert Matano dedicated the win to him.
“In fact we played for him (Sakari). He is a dependable player and it is sad for the team so all of us are mourning. We are one family,” said Matano adding that the match was tough as they had expected.
“Ulinzi is a well organised team, they are very strong in all departments so we knew it would be a tough match. In the first half we were slow but second half we were stronger. I expected that and it was our game plan. It (winning both Mozzart Bet Cup and Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) title) will be good for me and the team. Let us wait and see if we can do it.”
Tusker tops the FKF-PL with 64 points, one above Gor Mahia with four matches left to the end of the season.
Ulinzi coach Bernard Mwalala said they paid for a concentration lapse in the final minutes of the match.
“Taking into consideration that it was a match of few scoring chances, players needed to use their chances well. In the second half, we had like three chances which if we used well, we would have scored. Tusker got their chance and used it well,” said Mwalala who remained cagey of whether this was his final match as Ulinzi’s coach.
Ulinzi’s duo of Boniface Muchiri and Enosh Ochieng were unlucky as their efforts came off the bar on separate occasions in the second half.
Muchiri, a former Tusker player, watched in despair as his well taken free-kick curled beyond Tusker goalkeeper Brian Bwire only to be denied by the cross bar in the 53rd minute. He seemed to have injured himself in the process and was immediately replaced by Clinton Omondi.
Ochieng rattled the foot of the upright in the 70th minute after sneaking behind Tusker's defence.
AFC Leopards face Kakamega Homeboyz in the second semi-final of the competition from 3pm at the same venue.
The winner of the competition will pocket Sh2 million while runners-up will receive Sh1 million.