Tusker bottle chance to go seven clear

Tusker FC’s Allan Wanga fends off Western Stima’s Dennis Shikayi during their 1-1 ...
Tusker FC’s Allan Wanga fends off Western Stima’s Dennis Shikayi during their 1-1 Kenyan Premier League clash at Machakos Stadium. PHOTO/www.sportpicha.com

Tusker FC blew the chance to go seven points clear at the top of the Kenyan Premier league after being held to a 1-1 draw by a stubborn Western Stima in Machakos.

Tusker had the perfect start taking a ninth minute goal through Allan Wanga after defender and captain Joash Onyango sliced the ball into his path in an attempt to clear Clifford Alwanga’s cross.

With their tails up, Tusker missed a golden chance in the 22nd minute, a good cross by Noah Wafula, finding Wanga in acres of space, but his well connected volley was kept out by keeper Gabriel Andika for a fruitless corner.

Danson Kago on the left wing was a live wire for Tusker, and his run after 35 minutes ended with a super cross that mixed up stikers Wanga and Wafula.

Three minutes later, Stima made their way into the Tusker box for the first time. Nyarombo kept ball in play on the line, then laid off a delicate ball to kemboi who’s first time shot was blocked by Danson Kago.

Shouts for handball by Stima players were ignored by referee Moses Osano.

Stima seemed to have picked the momentum. Wesley Onguso’s cross in the 42nd was spilled by Tusker keeper David Okello,  but Kemboi blasted wide on the rebound.

A minute into the second half,  Joash Onyango’s towering header was cleared from inside the goal by Hashim Sempala, and the referee awarded it with no protest from Tusker.

The equalizer stung the league leaders into action. Osborn Monday’s hard shot in the 53rd was punched back into play by Andika.

Four minutes later, Kennedy Otieno watched in disbelief as his well-taken free kick was finger tipped over by Okello with the attacker already celebrating a goal.

Tusker should have taken the lead in the 78th after a poor clearance by Stima gifted Wanga and Michael Khamati an open chance, but the strikers remained rooted on the spot leaving the ball to each other and the opportunity disappeared as quickly as it came.

The Brewers had the upper hand in the closing ten minutes plus added time, but Stima sat back and soaked in the pressure to earn a precious point from the table toppers.

“I told my players to go forward and attack. We wanted to get to the number 3 position so we had to push to look for an equalizer before going for a win.

“I was a bit scared in the final minutes as Tusker floated in those long high balls and with Wanga there who is very good with the headers, it made me nervous,” said Stima coach Henry Omino.

Tusker coach Paul Nkata was fuming after the tie.

“Im not happy with the result especially with the referee; he was one sided. It is now getting more competitive with Gor having a chance to close in on us, but hey, that’s what a league is all about,” he said after the match.

Second placed Gor Mahia can cut the gap at the top to two points if they beat Posta Ranger on Sunday afternoon.

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Story By Mike Okinyi
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