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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Tusker FC beat Ulinzi to bag CAF Champions League ticket

Kenya’s FKF Premier League still has plenty of time before the league title is decided, but due to Covid-19 related delays the country’s representative for next season’s CAF Champions League needed to be determined by June 30, making Wednesday’s slate of games very important. Current league leaders Tusker FC came back from an early deficit to hammer Ulinzi Stars on the road and clinch their spot, an accomplishment that is just as important if not more essential then finishing the season as champions. Second place side Kenya Commercial Bank maintained their status with a 2-1 win over Nzoia Sugar but came just shy of their continental ambitions.

Hosts Ulinzi Stars got off to a dream start with a headed goal off a corner kick within the opening 10 minutes courtesy of Boniface Okinyi. However, before 20 minutes were up Tusker had equalized when a low cross was turned into his own net by Brian Birgen as he desperately lunged to prevent a goal. After the halftime break Brian Marita stooped down to head in a cross from the left flank in the 47th minute and Tusker were well on their way. Two late goals finished the match for the Brewers and commenced the celebrations of their qualification for the CAFCL.

While AFC Leopards and slipped further away from the top with disappointing results on the day, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) stayed within striking distanced of Tusker thanks to two goals late in the first half to overcome Nzoia Sugar 2-1 at home. The visitors opened the scoring through a close range header from Elvis Ronak following a corner kick. KCB equalized in the 44th minute when Reagan Otieno’s bouncing header found its way into the net and then a penalty kick goal from Simon Munala gave Sidwedwe a lead they would not relinquish.

Highlights from both matches are below.

Ulinzi Stars 1-4 Tusker FC

KCB 2-1 Nzoia Sugar