Bernard Gitau and Viden Ochieng
Diminutive Ulinzi Stars striker Stephen Waruru became the giant slayer yesterday when he ended Posta Rangers 11-match unbeaten run with his 51st minute goal that gave the soldiers victory in a hotly contested SportPesa Premier League (SPL) encounter at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.
Ironically, Rangers who have been lauded for being defensive this season found it difficult to contain Ulinzi and failed to score on the other end of the pitch, making it three matches with a goal for the mailmen this season.
Both sides played a balanced, cautious opening half that had limited chances but changed gears in the second with Rangers getting more adventurous.
Rangers sloppy defense of a corner let veteran defender Geoffrey Kokoyo with an in-swinging shot that rattled the crossbar and the perfectly positioned Waruru gracefully nodded the spill into Patrick Matasi’s net.
At Ruaraka grounds, promoted Nakumatt registered their fourth victory in top flight football, thanks to former AFC Leopards striker Eugene Ambulwa. Nakumatt took the lead courtesy of Kepha Aswani in the first half.
Ambulwa doubled the victors tally three minutes into the second half before John Mwita pulled one back for the inconsistent millers. Resurgent Sony Sugar compounded Western Stima’s woes when Marwa Chamberi and Amos Asembeka combined to hand Stima their seventh loss in 12 matches.
The victory was Sony’s fourth of the season and helped them scale the table into 13th while Stima stayed rooted to the bottom of the 18-team log.
Ugandan international Geoffrey Walusimbi saved Gor Mahia’s blushes at Nyayo Stadium when he curled in a free kick late to earn the league leaders a point at home to Thika United. The visitors had taken early lead and defended gallantly until Walusimbi pulled his magic.
Against the run of play, Thika United launched a counter attack in the 27th minute that ended with Mwinyi Kibwana rounding Boniface Oluoch and scoring in empty net.
The struggling side then repelled a barrage of attacks from Gor Mahia to maintain their lead at halftime. Kogalo upped their tempo upon restart but Thika defended well, opting to nab Kogalo on counter attacks that proved very tricky to Gor defense. The hosts had the chance to level matters when they won a penalty in the 64th minute from a foul tackle on Jacques Tuyisenge.