Tusker pull level at the top

By nesta kizito
Mar 08, 2014
  • Tusker Coach Jacob Mulee.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

Former league champions Tusker fought back from a goal down to beat Bandari 2-1 at Ruaraka grounds in the process joining Sofapaka on top of the Kenyan Premier League table with seven points.

The match at the brewers’ Ruaraka ground was however marred by controversy occasioned by a disputed penalty that resulted in Tusker’s match winning goal late in the second half.

With the scores tied at 1-1, former Kenyan Premier League player of the year, Kevin Kimani, charged down the left channel, beat one man but tumbled easily from Humphrey Okoti’s challenge to earn Tusker what appeared to be a dubious penalty.

Television replays suggested that with very little contact between Kimani and Okoti, the decision was a harsh one.

Bandari players protested by haranguing and remonstrating with the centre referee Israel Mpaima to no avail.

But after Ismail Dunga calmly slotted in the spot kick, things almost got out of control forcing the match official to flash out the red card on Victor Majid for his troubles.

Earlier on, after a scoreless first half, Bandari’s Abdullatif Omar broke the deadlock in the 59th minute with a thunderous shot that beat Samuel Odhiambo in Tusker’s goal all the way.

Three minutes later, former Mathare United man Kimani almost pulled Tusker back on level terms with a well taken free kick that forced Wilson Obungu into a fine one-handed save.

Hard done

The brewers didn’t trail for long though. In the 70th minute, Jesse Were brought them back into the game with a simple tap in from Osborne Monday’s pinpoint cross from the right.

Bandari coach Twahhir Muhiddin felt hard done by the match referee to not only award a penalty against his team but also to send off Majid.

“That was a very soft penalty; Kimani clearly dived in the box. But we leave it to God. We raised our game today and it’s unfortunate that we lost the match,” the soft spoken coach said after the match.

In the second match at the same venue, league debutants KRA continued their fairy tale run in the top flight with a 1-0 win over Muhoroni Youth. Collins Tiego scored the match winner in the 11th minute after George Mawngi had done the spade work to give the taxmen their second win in four matches.

KRA now move 7 points same as leaders Sofapaka and Tusker, albeit with an inferior goal difference.

Goalless draws

In other matches, Nairobi City Stars and Ulinzi Stars fought to a barren draw at the former’s Hope Centre as Mathare United and KCB also shared the spoils in a scoreless draw at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

The 2010 league champions Ulinzi Stars will be concerned that in four matches they are yet to win a single match. The soldiers have managed four straight draws so far.