Blazers labour to beat Spartans in league opener

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 12:00 | By
Blazers forward Audrey Omaido controls the ball during a past Premier League match. They began the 2020 season with a win over USIU-Africa. Photo/PD/ALEX NJUE

Kenya Hockey Union (KHU) women’s Premier League champions Blazers needed inspiration from midfielder Caroline Guchu to edge out United States International University-Africa (USIU-Africa) Spartans 1-0 in a league match at the City Park Stadium at the weekend. 

It was not an easy match for the record 22-time champions who were starting life as a self-sponsored team after long-term financiers telecommunications company Orange pulled out last season. 

They had to wait until the last quarter to break the stubborn students through a brilliant field goal from Guchu.

In the other match played on Sunday, newcomers Dutch Flower Group (DFG) Wolverines held regulars Strathmore University’s Scorpions to a goalless draw also at the City Park stadium, matches that coincided with the international women’s day.

DFG Wolverines tactician Denis Owoka was happy with the point given it was their first match of the season.

“There are improvements from the way we approached the match. Getting a point from Strathmore is a big deal since they have been in the Premier League for the longest time. Our undoing is that we haven’t trained together as a team and going forward, we hope to improve on our midfield,” said Owoka.

Wolverines and Oranje Leonas, earned promotion to the top tier after finishing in the top two positions in the Super League last season.

They took the places of Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT).

Meanwhile, KHU has named Fidhelis Kimanzi and Jackline Mwangi as the new men’s and women’s national team head coaches, taking over from Meshack Senge and Tom Olal respectively whose last assignment was during the 2020 Olympic qualifiers in South Africa last year.

 Their first assignment will be the North East region qualifiers for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations slatted for May 11-17 in Nairobi.

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