Boniface Muchiri got off the bench to give Tusker FC their second Kenyan Premier League (KPL) win on the bounce following a 1-0 victory over Nakumatt FC at the Ruaraka grounds on Wednesday.
It also marked the second win in as many matches for Francis Baraza who was appointed interim coach following the suspension of head coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe.
Baraza marked his debut with an emphatic 4-0 win over Muhoroni Youth FC and while Wednesday’s result was less spectacular, it lifted them to fourth on the 18-team KPL log. However, their slim win over Nakumatt has fired them to the third slot on 46 points, 17 shy of run-away leaders Gor Mahia.
The game burst to life towards the end of the first half as both sides scrambled to find the advantage before the break. Humphrey Mieno should have put Tusker into the lead but failed to control the ball properly inside the box, missing a golden opportunity.
The visitors came knocking again, forcing Nakumatt into conceding a foul close to the by-line of the right flank. The resultant free-kick was parried to the opposite end by keeper Ezekiel Owade. Danson Kago picked the pieces on the left on a follow up but his attempted cross was blocked by Collins Shivachi.
Nakumatt however failed to provide adequate supply to their danger-man Kepha Aswani, the joint KPL top scorer with Gor Mahia FC’s Jacques Tuyisenge on 12 goals, cutting a frustrated figure in the contest.
Peter Nzuki whipped a teasing cross but David Naftali – under pressure from Asike – was unable to get any contact on it as the ball flew across keeper Duncan Ochieng’s goal.
Moments later, Tusker made a probing move after Noah Wafula was fed through by Mieno but he scuffed his shot.
Another flowing move involving Osumba and Okeyo saw the former tee Wafula up but his first-time cross went just inches beyond Allan Wanga’s head.