Kago the hero as KPL leaders Tusker sink Homeboyz
Danson Kago struck the winner in the 64th to give ten-man Kenyan Premier League (KPL) leaders, Tusker FC a crucial 1-0 victory over the in form Kakamega Homeboyz at the Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium.
The Brewers moved to 44 points with seven matches remaining to sustain their title push as they seek to lift the crown for the first time since 2012 when current champions, Gor Mahia took over to three-peat.
“I am in a sweet moment, we have been on top for some time now which is very encouraging. I wanted to ensure that we don’t concede and we did that even in the quite difficult first half. After we scored we had to defend the goal, it worked,” Tusker’s coach Paul Nkata said after the match.
His opposite number Mike Mururi blamed lack of concentration as his side’s match to the top three was halted by the defeat.
“We should have won the match in the first half. It was bad that Kago was given all the space he needed to punish us,” the crestfallen coach who was priming his side for a surprise title tilt pre-match added.
Tusker, missing inspirational June signing, Allan Wanga who was away to attend to family matters paired Ghanaian import Stephen Owusu and midfielder Anthony Ndolo upfront.
The Brewers who threatened first, Kago floating in a sumptuous cross but Owusu could not direct the ball to the back of the net despite beating goalkeeper Michael Wanyika.
In the seventh minute, former Tusker striker Andrew Murunga almost punished his former employers, with a powerful shot outside the box after a glorious cross from Stephen Wakhanya.
Two minutes later, the 2014 KPL player of the year Ndolo missed narrowly with a header after combining well with Owusu, with Wanyika out of his line.
Referee Libise Nyabera then turned down spirited appeals for a penalty in the 17th from Homeboyz after Murunga’s effort appeared to make contact with defender Osborne Monday’s in the box.
Shortly after the restart, Mururi rested Wakhanya introducing David Okoth, before bringing on Kephas Mutuu for a wasteful Murunga.
Even before Mutuu had a touch on the ball, Kago broke the deadlock after beating Robert Ouma on the right before shooting past Wanyika who had raced off his line to cut off the attack with his back line missing.
Homeboyz coach threw in striker Abbas Akiyemi for Andrew Kulecho to partner Moses Mudavadi and Okoth upfront in the last quarter in a bid to chase the equaliser.
Nkata reacted by withdrawing the goal scorer Kago for teenager Khamadi Tera in the 84th, but his intention to add more strength upfront was cancelled when George Mandela, a defender, was shown second yellow card for crashing on Athman Buki.
He responded to the red card by bringing on Martin Kiiza for Ndolo and Clifford Alwanga in the place of Owusu to soak up the late pressure but his side held on to the end.
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