Kimani strikes twice as Bandari draw league opener with City Stars at Nyayo Stadium

By alex wafula
Feb 18, 2021
  • Bandari's Dancun Otewa's cross is blocked by City Stars' Yussuf Suf. The league opener for Bandari ended in a 2-2 draw. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Anthony ‘Muki’ Kimani struck a brace as an experienced Bandari FC side picked a point in their SportsPesa-sponsored Kenya Premier League opening match after a 2-2 draw with Nairobi City Stars at the Nyayo National Stadium on Thursday evening.

Kimani scored two goals with Oscar Mbugua and Jimmy Bageya’s goals replying for Nairobi City Stars.

The dockers finished the match with 10 men after Ugandan midfielder Musa Mudde was sent off for a straight red card after a retaliatory jibe at his fellow Ugandan Bageya.

After an end to end affair in the first half, the game degenerated into a physical contest in the second half with some crunching tackles everywhere.

Oscar Mbugua opened the scores for City Stars in the fifth minute, striking low after a swift drive into the Bandari half. The goal came just two minutes after Bandari had hit the upright, Kimani’s volley coming up against the post picking up an Edwin Lavatsa pass.

Mbugua was City Stars’ wheel in midfield and his experience was vital as he rolled the team forward from midfield.

Peter Musiime came close to doubling City Stars’ lead in the 12th minute but he shot wide after some good team play from the Kawangware-based side. But a relentless Bandari bravely fought as Twahir Muhiddin’s charges slowly grew into the game.

They were level in the 17th minute, Kimani rising to head a cross from new signing Felly Mulumba. Ronnie Kagunzi, the City Stars keeper had attempted to tap the ball off the line, but was late and David Mulonge, the match referee pointed to the centre.

John 'Bobby' Ogolla’s side regained the lead just three minutes later, Bageya finishing off a classic counter attack he had initiated. The Ugandan winger had picked the ball deep in his own half, racing into the box and playing a one-two with Mbugua, hitting the ball over an advancing Wilson Obungu.

Sserunkuma tightly marked

Danny Sserunkuma, making his maiden league bow for Bandari had been a tightly marked man all through the opening exchanges. John Amboko, City Stars hard man at the heart of defense had been tight on him all evening and he found it hard to penetrate.

Bandari were on the rise again later in this half and created three scoring chances. Kagunzi  leapt to his left to keep out a shot from Bernard Mang’oli in the 39th minute while Edwin Lavatsa’s attempts in the 42nd and 44th minutes went begging.

Ten minutes after the restart, Kimani thought he had grabbed the equalizer but his effort from a freekick was cancelled by referee David Mulongo. The ref had signaled an indirect freekick, but Kimani went for a direct shot.

Two minutes later though, the former City Stars midfielder drew Bandari level from the penalty spot. Mulumba had headed the ball against Luis Masika’s arms as he rose to head in a corner from Mang’oli and the ref awarded the penalty.

After Mudde was sent off in the 75th minute, coach Ogolla threw in two attacking changes, Yusuf Suf coming off for debutant Benson Iregi while Oliver Maloba replaced Peter Tumusiime.

His opposite number Twahir Muhiddin responded by bringing on defensive midfielder Humphrey Okoti for striker Lavatsa.

Iregi had a superb chance to crown his debut with a goal but Obungu pulled off a fantastic save with his feet after Iregi was put through on goal from a decent Jimmy Bageya pass in the 88th minute.

Meanwhile, round two matches of the 2016 season will roll on this weekend with matches spread between Saturday and Monday. The toast of the weekend will be the match between Tusker and Ulinzi at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos Stadium on Saturday.

Paul Nkata started his tenure as the new Tusker boss with a 2-1 win over Thika United last weekend while Robert Matano’s Ulinzi Stars picked a point after drawing 0-0 with Sony Sugar at home.

One of Matano’s talking points from the match was his striker’s sharpness infront of goal and this will be an area he has been working on all through in training. The military side played a friendly match against Oserian FC in Naivasha on Wednesday, a match they won 4-1.

Tough choice for Matano

It will be interesting to see whether Matano will stick with last year’s top scorer John Mark Makwatta or if he will hand a chance to new signing Mark Baraza Bikokwa who came on as a substitute in the opening match.

Another interesting tie of the weekend will see Gor Mahia come up against Posta Rangers at the Nyayo Stadium on Sunday evening. Gor have failed to sparkle in the opening three games of the season, losing to Bandari in the Super Cup and CNaPS in the Champions League while they drew 0-0 with Chemelil in their opening league match on Wednesday.

Rangers, under the tutelage of former Gor coach Zedekiah Otieno are oozing with confidence after beating Muhoroni Youth 2-0 in their opening match last weekend. Gor are under pressure.

“I believe we will soon find our rhythm. We are playing well but the only problem is that we are missing very many chances. If we can be able to convert some of them, I believe we will show a better side of ourselves,” Captain Musa Mohammed said in an interview with Sports News Arena.

Fixtures

Saturday: Ushuru FC v Thika United (Nyayo National Stadium), Tusker FC v Ulinzi Stars FC (Kenyatta Stadium Machakos), Muhoroni Youth v Sofapaka FC (Muhoroni Complex); Sunday: Mathare United v Chemelil Sugar, Posta Rangers v Gor Mahia (Nyayo National Stadium), Western Stima v Nairobi City Stars (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), Bandari FC v Kakamega Homeboyz (Mbaraki Stadium, Mombasa); Monday: Sony Sugar v AFC Leopards (Awendo Stadium).