The Law Enforcers’ expensively-assembled squad could not get past the young Sharks while Nzoia shrugged off early-season concerns by collecting maximum points against Ulinzi.
Kenya Police FC’s expensively assembled squad fired blanks on the opening day of the 2023-24 Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) season following a goalless draw with Kariobangi Sharks at Kasarani Annex on Saturday.
Police coach Francis Baraza fielded all his big hitters, including new signings Kenneth Muguna and Tyson Otieno.
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Baraza fielded Muguna just behind top striker Elvis Rupia with Tyson deployed on the right wing while Francis Kahata played on the left flank.
However, the experiment failed to yield the desired result, as Police found the going tough against the more organised Sharks who gave as much as they received.
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Rupia had a couple of half chances in opening half but could not find the target while Sharks made the Police defence work through the incisive running and passing of Fortune Omoto who slotted into the number 10 role following the departure of Tyson Otieno to Police.
The second half was still subdued from either side although Sharks coach William Muluya will be the happy of the two tacticians after seeing his side keep a clean sheet, something that was rare last season.
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For Baraza, it is still more work to do to get his new side back to the free-flowing game of last season and he might be forced to make some tough decisions to get the balance right going forward.
At the Sudi Stadium in Bungoma, Nzoia Sugar appear not to have been troubled by the mass exodus of their players and coach as they started the season with a 2-1 victory at home to Ulinzi Stars.
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Godfrey ‘Solo’ Oduor, who replaced Salim Babu in the dugout, would not have wished for a better start as his charges responded to going down to an early goal to collect maximum points.
Benjamin Mosha tapped in for Ulinzi after 30 minutes, connecting well with Boniface Muchiri’s cross, and the soldiers held on for a 1-0 lead at the break.
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However, Nzoia equalised in 54th minute through Haki Victor and with the match headed for a 1-1 draw, Joseph Oyugi netted the winner for the Sugar Millers deep in added time.