Stima get valuable survival points as Muhoroni Youth sink deeper

By alex wafula
Oct 23, 2017
  • Thika United defender Suleiman Ngotho attempts to tackle Mathare United’s Chris Ochieng. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

  • Nakumatt David Naftali in action against Bandari Mohammed Shariff and Felly Mulumba. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

Western Stima revived their hopes of surviving relegation shocking high flying Sofapaka 3-1 in Narok on Sunday.

The result sees Western Stima swap places with Thika United on the log. Thika United drew 1-1 with Mathare United at the Thika Sub-County Stadium.

The fight for survival now seems to be between the three teams with Muhoroni Youth’s hopes suffering a major setback with a 3-0 loss at home against Kakamega Homeboyz who leaped back to third.

Western Stima moved to 31 points, same as Mathare United though with an inferior goal difference and occupy 16th spot on the log.

They fought from a goal down with Robert Achema hitting a brace after Brian Marita had equalized from a Kennedy Oduor opener for Sofapaka, all this in the first half.

“We have the fight going and I am confident we will survive. It has not been an easy season but the momentum is high and we will give our best,” Western Stima keeper Samuel Odhiambo told Sports News Arena.

At the Thika Sub-County Stadium, the hosts needed maximum points to ease themselves of the worry of relegation, but they ended up getting just one in a hard fought tie.

Eugene Mukangula equalized within four minutes of Mathare going ahead with a low shot past Levis Opiyo.

The slum boys went one up after 16 minutes, Cliff Nyakeya having the simplest tasks of slotting the ball past the keeper after racing on to a Chris Oduor through pass.

Almost similar brand of football

It was a hugely contested tie between the two sides who play an almost similar brand of football. Despite the result, Nicholas Muyoti, the Thika United coach is confident his young team will push for survival with four matches left to the end of the season.

“It is a setback losing these three points at home because at this juncture, every win is vital but we will fight on. The remaining four games are like finals and we will fight to the end. We are very much alive in it,” Muyoti said.

Meanwhile, Nakumatt FC who are four points off relegation hope to win just one of the remaining four games to ensure they remain in the league. Nakumatt lost 1-0 to Bandari FC on Sunday, in what was the dockers’ first win after five losses on the trot.

But Nakumatt’s problems lay deeper with coach Anthony Mwangi confiding that they haven’t trained the entire week due to a financial crunch that has hit their sponsors.

“We just meet up for games nowadays. There isn’t even money for players to attend training. We are playing away to SoNy next and I only hope that we can be able to train so that we at least get those points,” Mwangi said after the match.

He admits that most players are owed salary arrears and the club has been solely depending on the monthly KPL grants which hugely lowered after the exit of SuperSport as broadcast sponsors. The players clearly lacked motivation as they played Bandari.

“The office tells us they are looking for other sponsors. As at now we want to fight to remain in the league so that at least it becomes easy for them to come on board. They won’t when we are playing in the second tier,” the coach further pointed out.

Nakumatt fell behind to a Felly Mulumba fourth minute header and failed to recover, much hampered by Bandari’s time wasting tactics.

Mulumba rose in unmarked at the edge of the six yard box to connect a Wilberfoce Lugogo free-kick from the right. Bandari had started brighter, clearly hurt by a damaging losing streak.

Edwin Lavatsa had a 10th minute free header off a Darius Msagha cross, but it sailed wide.

Nakumatt’s first chance came in the 21st minute when Nicholas Mejja laid in a wonderful cross from the right to pick out Joshua Oyoo, but the midfielder’s swerving volley was well tipped over the bar by the Bandari keeper.

The Premier League debutants were playing in the long balls in search of Kepha Aswani, trying to aid him to a 13th league goal that would single him out as the league’s top scorer.

Mohammed kept a close eye on Aswani,

However, Bandari defended well with Shariff Mohammed keeping a close eye on Aswani, himself a former Bandari player. Aswani had a chance however five minutes to the break with a long range effort going over.

In the second half Nakumatt pushed bodies upfront forcing Bandari to play on the back-foot. Bandari keeper Joseph Okoth made a vital stop with his feet to deny Joshua Oyoo 15 minutes from time.

Three minutes later, Shariff Mohammed almost deflected the ball into his own net in an attempt to clear off a cross from Nicholas Mejja.

Nakumatt had shouts for a penalty drowned 10 minutes from time after a goalmouth melee from a corner with Felly Mulumba seemingly handling the ball a yard off the line.