Wanga strikes to hand Tusker title initiative

Francis Kimanzi, the Mathare United head coach during their Kenyan Premier League match against Kakamega ...
Francis Kimanzi, the Mathare United head coach during their Kenyan Premier League match against Kakamega Homeboyz FC at the Safaricom Stadium Kasarani. His side welcomes leaders Tusker FC on Saturday. Photo/Stafford Ondego/

Table toppers Tusker FC extended their lead at the summit to five points thanks to a 2-0 win over Mathare United that almost effectively ended their Kenya Premier League (KPL) title chase in a clash played at Safaricom Stadium, Kasarani on Saturday.

Clifford Alwanga and Allan Wanga scored either side of the break to help the 2012 KPL champions pick up their first win in four in a game that was delayed for 35 minutes due to the lack of an ambulance.

The Brewers threw the gauntlet to champions Gor Mahia who host Bandari on Sunday at their Kisumu backyard as they reinvigorated their charge to dethrone them from the crown.

Elsewhere, Sony Sugar blanked Western Stima 3-0 at the Afraha Stadium thanks to goals from Victor Ademba, Masoud Juma and Amos Asembeka.

Head coach Paul Nkata heaped praise on new signing Wanga but asked fans not to be over excited as they navigate their upcoming fixtures.

“Whenever you score an early goal it motivates your players and you could see from that point we took control of the match. Wanga is exactly the kind of person we were looking for and you can see by his performance what he brings to the team,” the elated tactician underscored.

It was Wanga’s second league goal since returning to the club he won the title with in 2007.

His opposite number, Francis Kimanzi condemned the officials’ preparedness and urged his players to be more patient when on the ball.

“We had been warming up from about two o’ clock and the match being delayed worked against us and that is just a big shame. We were enjoying most of the possession but it didn’t reflect on the score line,” he lamented.

Mathare, who had been tipped to challenge for the gong, have now gone five matches without registering a win.

The defeat leaves Mathare fourth on 31, nine points behind their opponents with nine rounds of the 2016 season to go.

Both teams had come into this game reeling from unexpected defeats in their mid week clashes and were hoping a win today would help get their title charge back on track.

Tusker took the lead in the fourth minute when out of favour striker Alwanga’s swerving long range strike found its way to the back of the net much to the keeper’s dismay.

The Slum Boys went searching for the equalizer and eight minutes later clever interplay by the Mathare midfield released Derrick Onyango whose snap shot slightly missed the target.

They got another chance to level matters in the 35th when Daniel Mwaura made a foray into the Tusker’s penalty box before Osbourne Monday made a last ditch goal saving challenge.

His appeals for a penalty were however; shot down by centre referee Raymond Onyango who then brandished a yellow card to the player for simulation.

The men in yellow wasted no time making their intentions known after the restart with former AFC Leopards midfielder Edwin Seda testing Tusker custodian David Okello with a fierce shot from outside the box who in turn punched the ball back into play.

Tusker responded six minutes to the hour mark with Wanga capitalizing on a goalmouth melee after Alwanga’s miskick found him unmarked in the box and he buried the ball into the net to double the lead in another devastating display of his goal poaching instinct.

The 2007 KPL golden boot recipient almost made it three four minutes later getting on the end of an inch perfect cross but he headed it over the bar with the keeper off his line.

Danson Kago could have put the tie to rest seven minutes from time but Mathare keeper Robert Mboya intervened and parried the ball for a fruitless corner.

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