Mathare beat Thika to go top as Chemelil frustrate AFC

By alex wafula
Mar 13, 2021
  • AFC Leopards Cresten Mwanzo is tackled by Chemelil Sugar's Willis Ouma.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Chemilil Sugar's Coach Franics Baraza issuing instructions to his players.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

As the Sportpesa-sponsored Kenyan Premier league takes a two week break to allow the national team prepare for a back to back African Cup of Nations qualifier against Guinea Bissau, Mathare United will be top of the standings.

Francis Kimanzi’s side beat Thika United by a solitary goal, the impressive Obadiah Ndege netting in the 69th minute of the match.

The Slum boys now move to 11 points, same as AFC Leopards who picked up a one-all draw at home against Chemelil Sugar.

Kimanzi bagged his third win in five games and Mathare remains one of the only three teams yet to lose a match this season.

Thika who have been at a staggering low remain winless this season and the third loss of the season dips them to second from bottom.

Against Mathare, they dominated the early proceedings and had chances to score first, but Robert Mboya in the Mathare goal was the difference.

The keeper produced a superb save to deny Kennedy Otieno’s left foot shot before collecting a Saad Musa freekick in quick succession, the 10th and 13th minutes.

In the second period, Mathare troubled the Thika backline with Eric Johannah the chief architect.

Ingwe's wasted chance 

Ingwe would have gone top had they taken their chance when they faced their boogey side Chemelil Sugar at the Nyayo Stadium.

AFC had to come from a goal down, Allan Kateregga scoring in the second half to cancel out Dennis Onkangi’s first half goal. Coach Ivan Minnaert was disappointed that his side could not go 100% against Chemelil and more so that he had to bring on a half fit Andrew Tololwa to stabilize the team which had been disjointed in the entire opening 45.

“I am disappointed that Abuko (Simon) Miheso (Clifton) and Diallo (Lamin) did not fight for the team. AFC is a team of warriors and to play here you have to fight like a warrior. We did not press well and gave away too much space. We are all about speed and pressing and when we don’t do that, it becomes hard for us,” a disappointed Minnaert told Sports News Arena.

It was always going to be a tough going for Leopards against Chemelil, a side they have only beaten twice in 12 years. The absence of a connection in midfield never helped matters much and had Chemelil been more direct in their play, they would have picked all three points. Dennis Onkangi dived in unmarked inside the box to give Chemelil the lead at the stroke of half time. The former Western Stima finisher capitalized on poor marking from Ingwe with right back Willis Ouma swinging in a decent cross.

Leopards had the clearest chances in a first half that never had much to write home about. Simon Abuko volleyed an effort wide in the ninth minute after being picked up well from a Kepha Aswani flick. Eugene Ambulwa then came closest in the 21st minute heading a Bernard Ongoma corner inches over the bar.

At the start of the second half, Minnaert threw caution into the wind, choosing to risk a half fit Tololwa. Abuko paved way for the former Mathare man, Ketterega who had been played in midfield pushed to the right.

The dreadlocked Ugandan put Ingwe level in the 62nd minute, making the most of a Samuel Odhiambo error to tap the ball home.

The burly Chemelil keeper had punched the ball straight to Katterega’s feet after flying out to keep away a cross from Yussuf Juma. Chemelil had half chances on the other end, David Ojwang’ seeing his effort saved by Indeche while Victor Majjid struck over.

Tusker held   

A few set pieces in the dying seconds caused some trouble for Chemelil, but none could do enough to pick the point off their coffers.

At the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, Tusker were held to a two-all draw by a resilient Ushuru FC side, a result that sees them remain fourth on the standings.

Mombasa based Bandari leaped to third having beaten Sofapaka by a solitary goal in the late kick off. Ugandan Musa Mudde came back to sting his former side as he scored in the 70th minute.

Sunday results: AFC Leopards 1 Chemelil Sugar 1 (Nyayo Stadium), Tusker FC 2 Ushuru FC 2, Sofapaka 0 Bandari FC 1 (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Thika United 0 Mathare United 1 (Thika County Stadium).