How USIU switched off Telkom

By Elizabeth Mburugu: Monday, July 22nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Sports
USIU-A’s captain Harnet Ominde in action against Strathmore University in a Kenyan hockey Premier League match at City Park on June 17. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

United States International University of Africa (USIU-A) Spartans routed Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) 4-0 in a Kenya Hockey Union women’s Premier League match, yesterday at City Park.

The victory spurred Spartans, who are eying their maiden league title to the summit with 14 points, three more than defending champions Telkom, who were not in action.

Rhoda Kuira scored four quick goals in the second half to see her side register their fourth win and snatch the top spot. 

USIU-A coach Willis Okeyo said they were looking for improved performance this season.

“We want to perform better than we did last season because we missed out on a slot to this year’s continental club games,” said Okeyo.

“So far so good. The girls have done well and they are determined to get better as the season progresses,” Okeyo added.

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The loss further condemned JKUAT, who are still chasing their first win to bottom place, where they risk relegation to the lower tier.

However, Spartans’ victory did not come easy as they were forced to work harder for goals.

USIU-A were the better side from the onset but their efforts met strong resistance from JKUAT’s defence with goalkeeper Emma Aroni making impressive saves to help her side remain in the game.

Kuira, Beatrice Mbugua, Harriet Omindi and Naomi Kemunto were impressive for Spartans in the first half but failed to break the opponent's defence.

JKUAT’s  Njoki Kuria, Perpetua Makena, Josephine Ouma and Mariam Ngugi were also outstanding despite the loss. 

USIU-A intensified their hunt for goals with a resilient JKUAT defence thwarting their efforts for the better part of the game.

Their hard work came to fruition in the 40th minute when Kuira converted a penalty corner to give them a 1-0 lead by the break of the third quarter.

Kuira was unstoppable in the fourth quarter firing three past Aroni in the 53rd, 58th and 59th minutes extending JKUAT’s wait for a win.

In the men’s Premier League matches, champions Butali Sugar Warriors were held to a barren draw by Greensharks slowing down their title defence campaign.

They, however, remained on top of the log with 15 points from seven matches.

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