Vihiga United made a dream start to the 2018/19 season upsetting favourites Ulinzi Stars 2-0 in a closely contested SportPesa Premier League match at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on Sunday.
Midfielders Victor Ademba and Stephen Wakanya scored a goal apiece in the first half to sink the 2010 champions.
Vihiga coach Mike Mururi attributed their victory to chemistry in his new-look side.
“Generally there was proper team work among the players which contributed to the victory,” said Mururi.
Ulinzi’s Dunstan Nyaudo rued the absence of seven key players who are away on military training.
“The players are crucial and their absence put us in an awkward position,” he said.
The seven are Brian Birgen, Boniface Onyango, Oscar Wamalwa, Justin Owing, Cliff Otieno, Masuta Masita and Gregory Omondi.
The match started on a high with the soldiers pressing for an early goal with the trio of Elvis Nandwa, Ezekiel Okare and Churchill Muloma looking dangerous.
It was in the fifth minute that Ademba beat Cyrus Shitote before firing a venomous drive beyond past James Saruni for the opener.
A counter attack from Ulinzi attackers Muloma and Okare was well contained by Vihiga centre back Bernard Ochieng who was instrumental at the back.
As the match headed for the break, Vihiga’s Wakanya capitalized on a defensive lapse from Oliver Ruto to slot the ball in the net beyond Saruni to grab the second goal in the 44th minute.
Nandwa, Ulinzi’s top scorer last season, could have given his side a consolation in the 78th minute but he headed straight at custodian Geoffrey Oputi after Daniel Waweru had picked him out with a cross.
Both coaches made substitutions after the breather; Nyaudo resting defender Robert Oyuyo and for Abdalla Hamisi while Mururi withdrew Michael Isabwa and Ademba for Smith Ogutu and Kevin Muhanji respectively.
However the hosts maintained their lead to the final whistle.
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