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Ulinzi plot to maintain league lead after taking stranglehold

SportPesa Premier League (SPL) table-toppers Ulinzi Stars have declared they can’t wait to atone for their recent misfortune in the GOtvs Shield Cup going into the 17th round of the season this weekend on top of the groove.

The team’s handler Benjamin Nyangweso conceded that they had to struggle to get to the summit of the league but cautioned his charges against complacency considering the only goal aggregate separates the team from second-placed small Posta Rangers.

“You see, we are at par on points with Rangers and only a frontier in the number of goals scored separate us. The fact that Gor Mahia, Tusker and Kariobangi Sharks are also closing in means that we have to work extremely hard to maintain our position, ’’said Nyangweso.

Ulinzi have every reason to jealously guard the slot given that it will be the only one that will guarantee them a chance to represent Kenya in the 2018 CAF Champions League after missing out on the CAF Confederation Cup ticket, thanks to their elimination from the GOtv Shield Cup by Sony Sugar.

Nyangweso, however, said while winning the SPL gong is their ultimate dream, they don’t expect things to be any easier for the simple reason that it’s a very competitive league that is composed of teams with great character.

‘’I can say with certainty that we will win the SPL as several other teams have proved beyond any reasonable doubt that they badly need the title.

Of course, I’m happy that Ulinzi has catapulted to the top and this is a good motivation to the players but I prefer to take each of our remaining matches at a time and then we’ll see what happens after that,’’ remarked Nyangweso.

The Ulinzi tactician spoke even as he revisited the bitter 1-0 GOtv round of 32 loss to Sony and squarely blamed the centre referee of the day for the indifferent result.

‘’Things could have been different altogether had the referee not allowed a dubious Sony penalty to stand and overruled a genuine strike on our side by Waruru (Stephen).

We don’t mind losing fairly but such damning decisions only serve to frustrate players who work hard in training to get the desired results,’’ Once again, it will be Waruru who is expected to be Ulinzi’s pivot in attack when the team comes up against Nzoia Sugar this weekend in an SPL match at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru. The team will, however, miss the services of Osvar Wamalwa and Elvis Nandwa both who are nursing injuries.

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