Owusu converts two penalties to halt Tusker's free fall

By alex wafula
Aug 06, 2017
  • Bandari's Duncan Otewa wheels away from AFC Leopards' Ray Omondi. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

  • Sofapaka's Umar Kassumba celebrates his goal against Thika United. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Ghanian, Stephen Owusu converted two penalties as Tusker FC, the Kenyan Premier League defending champions ended a five-match winless streak by beating Western Stima 2-1 in Meru on Sunday.

Western Stima’s consolation was also scored from the spot by goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo.

The brewers were beaten by fellow title contenders Posta Rangers on Wednesday in Nairobi.

They got into business early with Owusu stepping up in the 25th minute after winger Ezekiel Otuoma had brought down Jackson Macharia inside the box.

He went up again from 12 yards, this time after Boniface Muchiri was brought down.

In the second half, Western Stima came back with vengeance.

They halved the deficit with Odhiambo scoring a penalty on the second bite of the cherry after his first take was saved by Duncan Ochieng, but the ref ordered a retake judging the keeper to have leapt off his line early.

The win took the 11-time champions to third on the log with 32 points one behind Posta Rangers who were stunned 1-0 by Nzoia Sugar in Bungoma.

Lawrence Juma scored the lone goal in the 62nd minute, seeing the sugar millers pick a third successive win.

The loss considerably takes Posta off pace with Gor Mahia now maintaining a four-point gap after this weekend’s matches.

Poor run

In Nakuru, Ulinzi Stars’ poor run continued as they slumped to their third successive loss, going down 1-0 to visiting Nakumatt.

Kevin Thairu scored the lone goal for the visitors with two minutes left on the clock. Thairu simply tapped the ball home after Ulinzi shot stopper Jacktone Odhiambo had spilled a freekick from Jack Bruno.

The military side had lost numerous chances with Stephen Waruru, the KPL top scorer and youngster Cliff Kasuti the main culprits.

“We have been punished for missing our chances. It happened also in midweek against Nzoia. We dominate the game and create very many chances but we miss even the obvious ones. It is frustrating,” Benjamin Nyangweso, the Ulinzi head coach said.

The loss dips Ulinzi to sixth with 29 points, eight off leaders Gor Mahia. The results are a real concern for Nyangweso whose side will be facing the league leaders in Nakuru on Sunday.

Sofapaka managed to pop up to fifth with a convincing 3-0 win over Thika United even in the absence of their head coach Sam Ssimbwa who is away in Uganda on family business.

After a dull first half with minimal chances, the game blew up in the second period with Batoto ba Mungu scoring twice within the first quarter of an hour.

Ugandan Umar Kassumba slapped home the opener in the 52nd minute after Thika United defender Dennis Lewa failed to clear a Willis Ouma cross from the right.

Sofapaka doubled their tally

Five minutes later, Sofapaka doubled their tally in similar fashion, this time Hillary Echesa side footing the ball home from a Morven Otinya cross.

Rodgers Aloro, another Ugandan in the Sofapaka fold took matters beyond Nicholas Muyoti’s men with a superb 75th minute freekick.

Thika had late chances for consolation but Said Musa’s freekick and Chris Oruchum’s shot from distance both went begging.

In a late kick off at the same venue, Bandari revenged for their 1-0 loss at the hands of AFC Leopards in the first leg, producing a similar score-line as they won in Nakuru.

Abdallah Hassan scored the lone goal in the 44th minute.

AFC Leopards will feel undone by the result especially after dominating the game and creating the most meaningful scoring opportunities.

In the seventh minute, Burundian import Alex Kitenge found the ball unmarked at the far post from a cross, but his shot was blocked for a corner.

Kitenge had another chance eight minutes later with a low shot from the edge of the box, but it went wide.

Wilson Obungu was a busy man in the Bandari goal and he was called into action in the 32nd minute, fisting away a shot from Victor Majjid.

Wet conditions

The wet conditions courtesy of the slight afternoon showers had caused the pace of the game to die down a bit.

In the 43rd minute, AFC Leopards had another chance with Duncan Ochieng striking a beautiful freekick but Obungu pulled off an equally outstanding save to punch the ball away for a corner.

From the resulting counter attack, Hassan was fed with the ball on the right and he set himself up with the first touch before finishing low past Andika with his second touch.

After the break, Matano made two changes, bringing in Allan Katterega for Samuel Ndung’u while Marcelus Ingotsi came on for Alex Kitenge. These were like for like changes that were meant sharpen Ingwe's attack.

Obungu remained busy in goal with good saves to deny Duncan Otieno from another freekick while he also did well to deny Aziz Okaka from point blank.

There was late drama in the match when Katterega was subbed for Andrew Tololwa despite having come on at the start of the half.

He walked straight to the coach to ask why, clearly unimpressed. He had to be pulled away by teammate Ian Otieno.

This had been Katterega’s first appearance since picking an injury during the Super Cup in Tanzania in June.

With the result, AFC Leopards dipped to 13th on the log while Bandari rose to fifth.

KPL Weekend results

Saturday: Gor Mahia 2 Muhoroni Youth 0 (Moi Stadium Kisumu), Kakamega Homeboyz 2 Kariobangi Sharks 1 (Mumias Complex).

Sunday: Ulinzi Stars 0 Nakumatt FC 1, Sofapaka 3 Thika United 0, AFC Leopards 0 Bandari 1 (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru), Chemelil Sugar 1 Zoo Kericho 1 (Chemelil Complex), Nzoia Sugar 1 Posta Rangers 0 (Sudi Stadium, Bungoma), SoNy Sugar 1 Mathare United 1 (Awendo Stadium), Tusker FC 2 Western Stima 1 (Kinoru Stadium, Meru).