Warriors slay Greensharks, Sliders floor USIU-A
Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) men’s premier league defending champions Butali Sugar Warriors kicked off their campaign with an emphatic 3-0 win over Greensharks at the City Park Stadium on Sunday.
New sign.ings Seth Oburu and Barnabas Odhiambo scored for their new club adding to Joeren Stoel’s first half strike to give the champions the perfect start.
The game was closely contested in the opening minutes as both teams rarely created match with both defences on top.
However, the champions took the lead with their first real chance of the game when Stoel escaped his marker to divert Oburu’s cross home stunning the homeside.
Sharks went in search of the equalizer but were thwarted by Warriors’ strong defence marshalled by skipper Ken Nyongesa.
The away side went into the break a goal up with Sharks unable to find their rhythm.
Oburu who was snapped up from Strathmore Gladiators proved his worth with a brilliant second goal in the 48th minute sounding the board with a well taken shot to score his first goal of the season.
The goal was harsh on the home team who had threatened briefly but were let down by some poor finishing.
It was to get worse when another debutant Barnabas Odhaimbo finished off a penalty corner to secure the points for the champions and compound Sharks to defeat.
Warriors coach Cliffe Okello was disappointed that his team did not win by a wider margin having created lots of chances throughout the match.
“We had so many short corners but did not utilise them well, it was important to get the win on the first day as it allows us to see where we need to improve on going forward. We can only get better as the season progresses,” Okello said.
In another match, two-time champions Strathmore University Gladiators came from a goal down to beat Wazalendo 3-2 and bag the three points.
Fidhelis Kimanzi put Wazalendo ahead two minutes before half time before Clayson Luvanda restored parity through a penalty stroke in the 43rd minute.
Festus Onyango scored a brace in the 45th and 59th minutes to give the Gladiators the lead while Kennedy Munialo scored in the 67th minute for Wazalendo but the university side hang on for the win in a match that saw Gladiators coach Meshack Senge play.
In the women’s league, United States International University of Africa (USIU) Spartans failed to make it two wins out of two after going down 1-0 to Sliders with Anita Agunda scoring the match winner.
In the national league, debutants Chase Sailors beat University of Nairobi 2-0.