• Thika upset Tusker as Sofapaka claw Leopards

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Jun 30, 2011-

Tusker Fc’s hope of finishing the first leg at the top of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) standings did not materialize after a 1-0 loss to Thika United at Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday.

Kennedy Otieno scored the only goal for a determined Thika side in the 37th minute and ensured Tusker would only finish in the second position with 27 points going into the second leg.

Otieno scored from a move initiated by Moses Arita the league’s top scorer who caught the Tusker defence flat-footed with a brilliant cross from the right flank.

The scorer of the lone goal could easily have doubled the score as he missed a last minute sitter with only the keeper to beat but he admitted afterwards that he had been under a lot of pressure.

“It was great to score tonight. I know it should have been two goals for me but I experienced a lot of pressure with all those defenders on my neck,” said the youngster.

Tusker lacked creativity in midfield with Moses Odhiambo already moved to Gor Mahia and it was evident the attacking force supply. Ibrahim Kitawi who was formerly with Gor won a corner for the brewers in the 11th minute as Tusker dominated the first quarter of the game. Itubu Imbem then sneaked between the Thika defence but could not score with plenty of space to shoot.

On the other side of the pitch, Arita was always working hard to increase his goal’s tally and should have had his name on the score sheet in the 26th minute but was stopped by Samuel Odhiambo in goal.

A disappointed Tusker coach Sammy Omollo said missing some of his key players denied caused him the match.

“My goal was to finish at the summit as we start the second leg but before the game we did not have Chrispine Olando and Moses Odhiambo who are key in our midfield. Thika deserve to win today because they were the better team.”

Tusker have not won since May 14 and Omollo admitted that this is a worrying trend. Thika coach Abdalla Juma was full of praise for his boys.

In the second match also played at the same venue, Sofapaka won 3-1 at the expense of AFC Leopards.

Bob Mugalia twice for the winners. His first goal was in the 17th minute and added another one in the 78th minute. John Njoroge claimed the other goal in the 37th minute.

A beautifully curved free kick by Jonas Nahimana in the 57th minute was the only consolation for Leopards and the pressure remained on coach Nick Yakhama to turn around the club.

Gina Tivona

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