City Stars drown Sharks to reach Elite Cup finals
Coach Nicholas Muyoti has applauded his team’s efforts after they edged out a resilient Kariobangi Sharks 3-2 on penalties to advance to the finals of the Elite Cup tournament played yesterday at Kasarani.
The semi-final game had finished 2-2 in normal time forcing the winner to be decided through penalties.
According to the head coach, the tournament provided the needed learning curves as they prepare for the league resumption.
“This tournament has given me insights regarding my team. We have brought new players into the squad. The friendlies are good but a tournament like this provides the ultimate test, “ he said.
He added: “We are ready for any team in the finals. My players had already told me they are ready to take up any opponent.
The winner of the tournament is set to walk away with one million shillings prize money.
Meanwhile, Nairobi City Stars survived a scare from Kariobangi Sharks, thanks to good goalkeeping from Steve Njunge to beat them 3-2 on post-match penalties.
Steve Njunge saved three penalties to help City Stars storm into the finals where they will wait to know whom they will face in Bidco versus Police match.
The match ended in an exciting 2-2 draw. City Stars surrendered a two-nil lead thanks to a first-half brace from Victor Otieno.
However, the Sharks came into the second half invigorated to pull back through Kevin Otiala penalty and substitute Tyson Otieno to force the game into penalties.
League resumption is still unknown. The Transitional committee after several postponements had set the final date for 1st October. However, with the previous administration chaired by the embattled president Nick Mwendwa forcing their way back into the running of the game, league resumption remains in limbo.
The matter has been further complicated with the appointment of a new Sports Minister in Ababu Namwamba. By the time of going to press, the second match of the Elite Cup semi-finals between Kenya Police and Bidco was a 0-0 draw.
Police had thrashed Division One side Mully Children’s Family (MCF) 5-1 in the third group B match played at Kasarani Annex on Tuesday.
They finished top of Group B on five points, the same as Nairobi City Stars and Ulinzi with the difference in the number of goals scored.
“At this point, I think I can confidently say the title is within reach. Our group was the toughest and us sealing this win today to advance to the semi shows we have the resilience and quality of going all the way,” Police FC coach Sammy Pamzo said after his team beat MFC.
It took more than 40 minutes for Police to break a resilient MCF through Duke Abuya’s spot kick after Elvis Rupia was brought down in the box.
Police made three changes after the interval. Alvin Mang’eni, John Ndirangu and David Simiyu were introduced for Kahata, Kinanga and Rupia. Four minutes into the game, Dennis Simiyu set up Abuya for his and Police’s second.
For Bidco United, they fried Sofapaka 2-0 to power into the semifinals of the pre-season tournament.
Bidco accumulated six points to join the last four teams after the impressive game against Sofapaka.
Oilers started the campaign by beating nondescripts Rainbow FC 2-0 before a 1-0 loss at the hands of Kariobangi Sharks.
Bidco’s goal by Sammy Ndung’u threw Sofapaka off balance and not even the introduction of match-maker Joe Waithera for Geoffrey Ojunga in the second stanza could help their course.
Desperate to return to winning ways after being vanquished by Kariobangi Sharks, Bidco threw everything into the attack early in the match with Ndung’u cashing in on a defensive mix-up by Batoto Ba Mungu’s defence to beat goalkeeper Simon Masaka with a rasping drive.
In the 70th minute, Bidco’s dangerous striker Ezekiel Okare notched the second goal with a powerful left-footer on the edge of the box that hit the roof of the net past the unsuspecting Masaka.
The early proceedings were balanced although it was Bidco who had a sniff at Sofapaka’s net first, Micheal Bodo exchanging passes with Lameck Oloo in the 7th with the latter pulling the trigger only for the ball to go inches wide.
The finals are set to be played over the weekend.