Sol­diers chance

Ulinzi and Kar­i­obangi book GOtv Shield semi-fi­nals date after beat­ing ri­vals

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports - BY FRAN­CIS WADEGU @fwadegu198

It’s un­be­liev­able that in their two-decade ex­is­tence, Ulinzi Stars have never won Kenya’s fore­most cup com­pe­ti­tion now known as the GOtv Shield.

The sol­diers will have no bet­ter chance to end that long-stand­ing drought than this year after they were pit­ted against Na­tional Su­per League side Kar­i­obangi Sharks in the semi-fi­nals of the tour­na­ment, whose win­ners earn the ticket to rep­re­sent Kenya in the soon to be ex­panded CAF Con­fed­er­a­tions Cup.

Both Ulinzi and Sharks came through the lottery of penal­ties as win­ners on a week­end when all the knock­out matches were de­ter­mined on shoot outs after stale­mates in reg­u­la­tion time.

Sharks will feel they can go all the way after they ended the reign of Ban­dari 5-4 on post-match penal­ties after their tie had ended 1-1 in nor­mal time. Sub­sti­tute Danny Serenkuma missed his spot kick while Sharks con­verted all their five penal­ties through Pas­cal Og­weno, Ibrahim Kitawi, Elly Asieche, Boni­face Akenga and Stephen Od­hi­ambo. Ed­win La­vatsa, An­thony Kimani, David Kin­gatua and Musa Mudde had all de­feated Sharks penalty spe­cial­ist John Oyemba from the spot. A place in the semi-fi­nals was no less than Sharks de­served after dom­i­nat­ing the tie in reg­u­la­tion time.

Rogers Omondi put the vic­tors in front just after the break, ri­fling a left-footed ef­fort past Joseph Okoth after Asieche had teed him up.

Mudde equalised for Ban­dari, who would even­tu­ally re­lin­quish the tro­phy at the same Nyayo Sta­dium, venue where they had tri­umphed 10 months ear­lier. Ulinzi too drew 1-1 with sec­ond tier high-fly­ers Nzoia United be­fore pre­vail­ing in the shoot out with Ge­of­frey Kokoyo, net­ting the win­ning spot-kick in the 4-2 win after goal­keeper Ber- nard Mang’ala had missed the cru­cial one for Nzoia. The other semi-fi­nal spot will be fought out be­tween KCB and the win­ners of the de­layed quar­ter-fi­nal clash be­tween Posta Rangers and Agro Chem­i­cals who will duel to­mor­row. KCB up­staged Western Stima 4-3 in the shoot-outs that fol­lowed a goal­less draw in reg­u­la­tion time.

The bankers cus­to­dian Juma Mpongo was the hero as he scored once and saved from his op­po­site num­ber Gabriel Andika, Shi­monyo and Es­tone Esiye.

KCB had con­verted their penal­ties through Den­nis Ng’ang’a, Frank Bal­a­bala and Erick Okoth and Mpongo.

Posta on the other hand, took full ad­van­tage of be­ing re­in­stated in the tour­ney by de­feat­ing Ushuru 5-4 with strikes from Ti­mothy Otieno, Ti­tus Ach­esa, Charles Odette, Dun­can Otieno and Pa­trick Matasi.

Ushuru’s Nel­son Mara­sowe, Mau­rice Odipo, Evans Ki­wanuka and Roy Okal also hit­ting the back of the net but were elim­i­nated due to misses from Ebrima San­neh, Rodgers Ochieng and Kennedy Oduor.

/ENOS TECHE

Kar­i­obangi sharks dur­ing their match against Pa­los .

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