Relegation battle on as Thika holds Mathare

Mathare United FC players celebrates Chrispin Oduor's goal against Gor Mahia FC during their SportPesa ...
Mathare United FC players celebrates Chrispin Oduor's goal against Gor Mahia FC during their SportPesa Premier League match at the Thika sub-county municipal stadium in Thika on October 14, 2017. Mathare United FC won 1-0. Photo/Sportpicha

Relegation threatened Mathare United and Thika United battled to a 1-1 draw at Thika Stadium in one of the four Kenyan Premier League matches played on Sunday .

Mathare’s Cliff Nyakeya opened the scoring in the 16th minute before Eugene Mukangula restored parity four minutes later.

The outcome leaves Mathare on position 15 with 30 points, two ahead of 16th placed Thika as the fight to evade the chop intensifies.

Apart from the duo, bottom placed Muhoroni Youth (25 points) and Western Stima at position 17 on 28 points, are all fighting for safety with four rounds of matches to go.

Elsewhere, the struggling Western Stima beat shocked host Sofapaka 3-1, a win that restores their dim hopes of survival.

Kennedy Oduor had given Sofapaka the lead before Brian Marita cancelling the lead. Ugandan Robert Achema struck twice to seal the win for Stima.

Coastal based side Bandari also bounced back to winning ways, beating Nakumatt FC 1-0, in a match staged at the Ruaraka grounds.

Former Sofapaka defender Felly Mulumba connected Wilberforce Lugogo’s free-kick for the sole goal, to end their five-match winless streak.

In Muhoroni, Kakamega Homeboyz ran riot over hosts Muhoroni Youth, Jeremiah Wanjala, Wycliffe Opondo and Francis Ochola scoring one each.

The win took Homeboyz to 48 points, level with Sofapaka after their loss.

-Low drive-

In Thika, the ‘Slum Boys’ had a good start teasing the hosts as early as the seventh minute. Suleiman Ngotho almost scored an own goal after Daniel Mwaura’s dangerous cross came off his foot to hit the side netting.

Nyakeya released a quick shot off Chris Oduor pass to fire home the opener past Allan Owiny in Thika goal.

Mathare’s celebrations were cut short in the 20th minute when Mukangula’s venomous low drive settled into the bottom right corner of Levis Opiyo’s post.

In the 29th minute, Edwin Seda’s corner kick at the near post was cleared by Zack Matasi as Thika survived scare.

Six minutes later, Nyakeya combined with Oduor to find Mwaura but the latter’s delivery into the box was intercepted by Ngotho.

A nice interchange involving Seda and Nyakeya six minutes to the break saw the latter send a low cross into the area that was deflected by Ngotho for a fruitless corner.

Both teams made changes for the second half to try change the nature of the game. They both shared possession but it was Thika who showed intent in the last ten minutes.

Goalkeeper Opiyo came off his line to gather an innocuous long ball but he fumbled and spilt the ball outside the box for a free kick that Mwinyi Kibwana took wide four minutes to time.

Nothing came out of the two teams in three extra minutes. A draw takes Francis Kimanzi’s side to 31 points. Just two ahead of Thika after 30 rounds.

Summarised results

Thika United 1-1 Mathare United
Sofapaka 3-1 Western Stima
Nakumatt 0-1 Bandari

Muhoroni Youth 0-3 Kakamega Homeboyz.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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