Wasteful Stima held by resolute Sharks in Kisumu
- Stima donned the yellow-blue themed jerseys, synonymous with the corporate giant and gave a good account on the pitch in the exciting 0-0 draw against visiting Kariobangi Sharks
- Playing at home before their adoring fans, they dominated each half but the most important thing - the goal - never came through
Western Stima have arguably endured a frustrating if not a torturous three weeks.
Both mainstream and new media have been awash with reports that a bleak financial future beckons for them, what of reports that their shirt sponsors,the Kenya Power Limited Company(KPLC) is pulling the plug on the sponsorship.
Of course as a team they have put up a brave face, denying it all!
And at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Saturday, nothing gave away.
They donned the yellow-blue themed jerseys, synonymous with the corporate giant, and gave a good account on the pitch in the exciting 0-0 draw against visiting Kariobangi Sharks.
Playing at home before their adoring fans, they dominated each half but the most important thing – the goal – never came through.
Benson Ochieng “Omala”, the teenage sensation schooling at Kisumu Day Secondary, on this particular afternoon, did not get the proper supply and it showed.
His best effort was when he drove his shot wide, to the left of Sharks keeper from the box in the first half.
Stima, ahead of this match, were seventh placed on the grid on 32 points from 20 games and they just added one more point while Sharks, placed 12th on 19 points from as many number of games also contented with the shared spoils.
Sharks gave their own share of trouble, Patrick Otieno’s direct shot at the half-mark going straight into the waiting arms of Stima goalkeeper Samuel Njau at the half hour mark.
In the 36th minute, Njau was forced to make a fine save to his near post from Patilah Omoto’s cheekily bent shot.
Stima coach Salim Babu elected to field a 4-4-2 formation with youngster Omala partnering Lucas Weitere upfront while Kevin Omondi, Sydney Ochieng, Fidel Origa and Robert Achema pulled the strings in midfield, allowing Kevin Wesonga, Vitalis Akumu, Keneddy Owino and Maurice Ojwang to man the defence.
And though the dominant force in the first half amidst the sweltering heat in the lakeside city of Kisumu, Stima failed to make the dominance count, most of their crosses in the box yielding to nothing.
Six minutes after the interval, coach Babu rested Robert Achema and in his place came Henry Onyango.
As Stima pressed high for the opener, they nearly paid dearly as Sharks launched a devastating counter-attack, Patrick Otieno rounding off two of Stima’s defenders only to see his half-volleyed shot saved by Stima custodian Njau.
To spice Stima’s attack , Babu made yet another substitution in the 60th minute, Baron Oketch taking over from Weitere Lucas who had partnered Omala in a two-year prong attack.
However Stima’s best chance in the duel remains Henry Ochieng’s blasted effort in the 73rd minute when he had the best of angles to rifle in from an acute cut-back from the left wing.
The build-up had been something tantalizing; text book football for that matter. Baron Oketch initiated the move from the right, danced his way to the box to tee a close range shot to Kelvin Omondi who returned the favour before Oketch picked out the well-placed Henry, who instead of sending the fans who had left their seats in anticipation into a frenzy, served disappointment in huge proportion.
Either way Stima will rue the missed chances here moreso in the second half when they made the contest a one way procession for large chunks.
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