Late Kitawi strike lifts Sharks, sends Ligi Ndogo out of NSL
Ligi Ndogo’s miserable National Super League (NSL) campaign finally reached its end of the road as they sank 1-0 to Kariobangi Sharks at Nairobi’s Camp Toyoyo on Saturday.
Skipper Ibrahim Kitawi drove the final sword through their hearts with a 79th minute strike to pull his side three points clear of third-placed Zoo Kericho FC and are now only one point away from securing automatic qualification to the Kenyan Premier League next season.
Ligi Ndogo join fallen giants Shabana FC in sliding down to the Division One, the ultimate result of their deplorable campaign that has seen them manage just three wins from 37 matches.
As they bowed out, they hardly ever looked like they had the power to fight for their second-tier status, never threatening and thrice lucky to be saved by the post. Two of those strikes against the post were from Kitawi who has been influential in Sharks’ steady rise to second.
Poor finishing from Ligi Ndogo’s Nassor Hassan and Albert Obiero saw their only two chances of the first half slip easy with goalkeeper Tom Muthomi denying Kitawi from putting the hosts ahead just before the break.
The midfielder did well to control Steven Odhiambo’s pass and steered it hard and low to the keeper’s right but Muthomi got down in time to parry away.
Three minutes after the restart, striker Rodgers Omondi saw his wild shot rattle against the woodwork with Kitawi going just as close moment s later as the visitors continued to survive.
It was turning out to be a frustrating morning for Kitawi and the Sharks as the left-footed playmaker struck the post with just over a quarter of an hour left to play. However, there was no stopping him for the third time of trying as he blasted his side into the lead following a fine pass from substitute Francis Manoah.
The goal spurred the visitors into life and it was Sharks’ turn to survive the last 10 minutes with keeper Oigo Malcom standing firm between the posts to secure all the three points.
-Report by Ali Endere.
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