Ulinzi Stars were made to work at the Ruaraka Stadium on Saturday evening before coming away with a 2-0 win over Wazito FC in a SportPesa Premier League match.
The army men rose second on the log standings following the win, while Wazito remained 14th on the league table.
Ulinzi threatened first through John Kago’s shot from range four minutes into the league encounter, but the diminutive midfielder’s effort missed the target.
The home side nearly broke the deadlock twelve minutes later following a mistake by Brian Brigen but the ball deflected off George Omondi and it went wide of the target.
In the 21st minute, Piston Mutamba combined brilliantly with his Wazito teammate Tumba Luis who skewed his attempt wide of the Ulinzi goal-posts.
Michael Otieno had a chance to put Ulinzi into the lead from a free-kick seven minutes before half-time, but his effort went straight into Wazito keeper Philip Odhiambo’s hands.
The army men continued to dominate the match in the early stages of the second-half. Oscar Wamalwa’s attempt was parried away by Odhiambo a minute after the restart.
Wazito head coach Frank Ouna made his first change on the hour-mark when he introduced Haron Nyakha for Joakim Omollo.
Samson Ndegwa pushed forward ten minutes later and he unleashed a powerful shot which failed to trouble Kenya international Jacktone Odhimabo in the Ulinzi goal-posts.
The opening goal arrived on 73 minutes, Elvis Nandwa getting perfect contact with his head to guide Ibrahim Shambia’s inviting cross in at the far post.
With ten minute left on the clock Dan Owino produced a powerful shot from range with his right foot and this time Odhimabo finger-tipped the ball over the crossbar as Wazito pushed hard for an equalise.
But six minutes later and Masuta did give Ulinzi a much-needed cushion of a second goal when he arrived at the near post to head in Nadwa’s cross.
The result takes Ulinzi to within two point of leaders Gor Mahia who have two matches at hand and Don will likely be able to prepare his side for the upcoming fixture on a top of table clash.
How they lined up:
Wazito starting XI: 99 Odhiambo Philip, 33. Owino Dan, 16. Tumba Luis, 29. Onyango Marvin, 50. Ricky Onimbo , 18. Odhiambo Mark ,10. Odhiambo Eric, 17. Ndegwa Samson , 07. Lukige Patient, 23. Omollo Joakim, 09. Mutamba Pistone
Subs: 01. Njung’e Steve, 08. Oswe David, 32. Ayako Kennedy, 11. Ibrahim Mao, 04. Nyakha Haron ,27. Tienan Emmanuel, 06. Owiti George
Ulinzi Stars starting XI: Jacktone Odhiambo (GK), Brian Birgen, Hassan Mohamed (c), George Omondi, Oliver Ruto, Bernard Ongoma, John Kago, Cliff Kasuti, Michael Otieno, Elvis Nandwa, Oscar Wamalwa.
Bench: James Saruni (GK), Boniface Andayi, Hamisi Abdalla, Masita Masuta, Enosh Ochieng, Churchill Muloma, Ibrahim Shambi.