Kevin Simiyu and Chris Wokila were on target as a clinical Green Sharks bounced back to beat Sikh Union, Nairobi 2-0 in a Kenya Hockey Union men’s Premier League match on Friday at the City Park Stadium.
Green Sharks narrowly lost 0-1 to Kenya Police last weekend and coach Ben Owaga demanded a positive response.
They piled early pressure and stringed neat passes in the opposition territory. This sustained pressure led to a moment of controversy in the third minute.
Wokila was unmarked in the circle and his vicious shot seemed to have bounced off the roof of the net on its way out. However, umpire Wycliffe Ongori saw it differently and ruled it out as he felt it had hit the top of the post.
Protests from the Green Sharks players were in vain as Ongori stood his ground.
Sikh Union grew in confidence
On the other end, Sikh Union grew in confidence. In the seventh minute, Davis Wanangwe released Collins Wanjila whose angled goal-bound shot was cleared by Eli Asura in goal.
They had their second chance at goal in the 12th minute when Nelson Shahale was forced to shoot quickly with Victor Osiche on his trail. Shahale’s low shot was kept out by the legs of Asura as the first quarter concluded at 0-0.
In the second quarter, Sikh Union squandered a golden opportunity to snatch the opening goal in the 20th minute.
Allan Iningu initiated a counter attack and fed Shahale who in turn squared to Harvir Ghataure. Ghataure fumbled his shot from a metre out to fire narrowly wide.
This miss proved costly as Green Sharks took the lead five minutes later. Osiche had a brilliant individual moment in the build up to the goal.
He drove to the left wing, left defender Fidelis Okello in his wake, created space for himself before crossing for goal poacher Simiyu who walked the ball home for a 1-0 result at halftime.
The only meaningful chance of the third quarter fell to Asif Ali after a teasing defence splitting pass from Iningu. Ali had space and time to pick his spot.
However, Ali, who was guilty of stray passes during the encounter could not only fire wide.
Green Sharks doubled lead
Green Sharks doubled their lead in the 51st minute when Osiche was again involved.
He managed to hold off central defender Haggai Peppela’s challenges and released a low shot that was partially cleared by the onrushing goalkeeper Caleb Simiyu.
The rebound fell kindly to Wokila who slotted into the empty net.
Osiche could have put the game to bed with 10 seconds remaining after a free flowing counter attacking move. Simiyu crossed to Osiche whose piledriver crashed against the right post.
“It was a good result and the team played well. However, we missed several clear chances that I believed we should have converted. We need to improve on our finishing going forward,” Ben Owaga, the Green Sharks coach said.
Earlier, George Mutira scored in each half as Chase Sailors beat win Parklands Sports Club 2-0.
Mutira the key danger man for the side opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a low shot past Farhard Shire.
He got his brace in the 57th minute to squash any chance of a PSC comeback.