Ulinzi Stars hold Kenya Police in fierce FKF-PL match at Nyayo

Stephen Etyang of Ulinzi Stars controls the ball during their Football Kenya Federation Premier League match against Kenya Police at Nyayo National stadium on May 26, 2023.

Photo credit: Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • The game was attended by Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat, his assistant Ken Odhiambo and ecstatic fans of both sides.
  • Striker Elvis Rupia put Kenya Police ahead in the 32nd minute via a ferocious shot after being picked out by midfielder Duke Abuya. 

Ulinzi Stars and Kenya Police on Friday battled to a 1-1 draw in an entertaining Football Kenya Federation Premier League match at Nyayo National Stadium.

The game was attended by Harambee Stars coach Engin Firat, his assistant Ken Odhiambo and ecstatic fans of both sides.

Striker Elvis Rupia put Kenya Police ahead in the 32nd minute via a ferocious shot after being picked out by midfielder Duke Abuya. 

Rupia has now scored 22 goals, three shy of Gor Mahia's Benson Omala who leads the Golden Boot chase.

Omala could increase his tally and match the goal scoring record when K'Ogalo face Tusker on Sunday. If he does so, he will shatter Maurice Ochieng 'Sonyi' record of 26 goals set in the 1976 season.

Kenya Police maintained the tempo and  continued their attacks but were wasteful with Rupia and winger Clifton Miheso being the main culprits.

In the second half, Ulinzi Stars were the better side and wasted a number of chances to get level. However, they were lucky after Enos Ochieng' won a free kick in the 75th minute which Stephen Etyang curled well past Kenya Police custodian Job Ochieng'.

Enosh then did well two minutes later to dispossess Job but was unlucky as his powerful close range shot hit the side net to the dismay of Ulinzi’s technical bench and fans.

Rupia and Ulinzi defender Omar Mbogi had to be separated by teammates in the dying minutes of the game.

The draws means the disciplined forces sides are yet to bag a win in the four league meetings between them.

However, Ulinzi beat Kenya Police 2-1 in the round 16 of the Mozzart Bet Cup on April 1 at the Police Sacco Stadium.

After 31 rounds of matches, Kenya Police are fourth on  57 points while Ulinzi Stars are eighth on 45 points.

Kenya Police coach Francis Baraza slammed his players for losing focus after Ulinzi got the equaliser. He said his target is now to ensure they finish in the top four this season.

“I'm disappointed because as a coach I train them but they are not replicating what we do on the pitch. I blame my players because after conceding, they gave up and allowed Ulinzi back into the game,” said Baraza.

Ulinzi Stars assistant coach Vincent Otieno hailed his players for the draw and said they were just shot of killing the game.

“We equalised, got our mojo back and I thought we were winning this clash. I’m very pleased with the way we played in the second half,” said Ulinzi assistant manager Vincent Otieno, who was standing in for Bernard Mwalala.

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