Nandwa applauds Thika’s hatchet job on Tusker
Thika United Head Coach James Nandwa lavished praise on his team after their stunning 2-0 defeat of Kenya Premier League (KPL) leaders and former Tusker FC and believes the club’s recent performances are a sign of good things to come.
The milkmen left the Brewers flat at their Machakos homeground with recent acquisition Onwudi Chibueze and youngster Eugene Mukangula scoring in the first half to inflict a third defeat of the season for the frontrunners.
“We are playing every match like a final and first thing we want do is distance ourselves from the relegation zone then we can talk about the top eight from there,” Nandwa told Citizen Digital.
“I have no injury worries and my boys are playing as a team. At the moment, there is high competition for positions and so everybody knows they have to perform at a high level.
“Ever since I integrated goal keeper Hamza Muwonge into the squad we haven’t conceded a goal and our defence has become solid,” he added.
The former Harambee Stars tactician singled out Nigerian danger-man Chibueze as one the players to watch as the season progresses.
The forward has scored in all three games he has started since his arrival from second tier side Shabana FC in June.
“We were looking for an all round striker, who could hold the ball, help out in the midfield and in Chibueze we got that. He is a fighter and he’s been improving from one match to the next,” Nandwa declared.
The win shot Thika to 13th on 22 points level with troubled Ushuru FC who were given a 4-0 hiding by Western Stima.
In Mumias, Kakamega Homeboyz came from behind through two second half goals from Andrew Kulecho and Sunday Mutuku to shock title chasing Mathare United 2-1 and further dent their title hopes.
The Slum Boys, who at one time led the competition, are on a dismal run of four matches without a win that has seen them drop to fourth.
Homeboyz Chairman Cleophas Shimanyula harbours ambitions of winning the league and is hopeful his players can maintain the fighting spirit till the end of the season.
“Our target at the start of the season was to make sure that we avoid the drop. If we go as far as winning the league then that will be a bonus as at the moment we want to secure a top eight spot.
“The clubs in the top 10 are dropping points and I believe right now anybody can win the league. There was a point where Mathare were on top of the league and were ahead of us by 10 points but now they are fourth and are ahead by only two,” the Chairman underscored.
Kakamega have not lost a match since the second leg started and take on fellow-giant killers Thika over the weekend.
The Francis Kimanzi coached side however, lacked the services of reigning KPL midfielder of the year Eric Johanna, who is currently attending trials at Swedish side AIK Fotboll.
Champions Gor Mahia missed the chance to leap to the top of the KPL after being held to a barren draw by a resilient Sony Sugar side.
K’Ogalo retained their second position on 35 points but reduced Tusker’s lead at the summit to two.
In the early kickoff, Frederick Shimonyo notched a brace as Western Stima continued where they left off over the weekend dispatching 10-man Ushuru 4-0 with goals from Wesley Onguso and Kenneth Muguna completing the rout.
On the other end, Bandari piled more pressure on bottom side Sofapaka relegating the 2009 KPL champions to a 1-0 defeat with Michael Apudo scoring at the death.
In Muhoroni, the hosts salvaged a 1-1 draw after going down early in the first half through John Makwatta’s second minute freekick before Lwamba Bebeto leveled matters six minutes after the restart from a spot kick.
Muhoroni were lacking the services of the joint KPL Top Scorer Wycliffe Ochomo who was serving his ban for attacking assaulting the Dockers’s team doctor.
This was the second time this week that the two clubs were meeting, with the Soldiers emerging 2-0 victors on Sunday in the GOtv Shield.
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