Tusker shares spoils with Mathare as Sofapaka silence Thika

By alex wafula
May 13, 2021
  • Tusker and Mathare United players eye the ball during their premier league game.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

The master versus apprentice battle at the Ruaraka Complex on Wednesday evening ended up all even.

George ‘Wise’ Owino ruined what would have been a befitting birthday gift for his coach Stanley Okumbi as he scored an own goal in the 82nd minute, Tusker FC coming from behind to force a 1-1 draw with Mathare United at the Ruaraka Complex.

Eric Johannah had given Mathare the lead in the first half but Tusker managed to come out with a point after increased attempts in the second half. Mathare were hoping to have one against their former coach Francis Kimanzi with both their attempts last season going futile, losing 3-0 and 1-0 in the first and second legs consecutively.

Okumbi’s side had a better tactical and defensive awareness plan but would be undone with the unfortunate own goal.

The ‘Slum boys’ still bathing in the glory of their new sponsorship perk from Britam started the match with more urgency to score and as early as the 1st minute, they had rattled the Tusker backline.

Roy Syamba broke on the left but his shot from close range hit the side netting. But Tusker would grow into the game slowly and had two decent chances to score the opener.

Clifford Alwanga saw his sliding effort sky over the bar from Jockins Atudo’s well weighted cross as Aziz Kemba headed over from another of Atudo’s decent deliveries.

Mathare would open the scores after 20 minutes, Daniel Mwaura breaking on the counter to face Tusker goalkeeper Farouk Sikhalo one on one and unselfishly fed Johannah who had the simplest of tasks of tapping into an empty net.

It was the exact motivation Kimanzi's former player Okumbi needed on his 34th birthday and he kept pushing his charges to get the second.

Eric Mata was impressive on the wings and he gave Jockins Atudo a torrid time.

The Ugandan Kemba signed from Victoria University at the start of the season was also impressive and when he moved to the right side where he could cut in with his favourite left foot he became even more dangerous.

Ten minutes to the break, he turned David Mwangi inside out but Peter Odhiambo in the Mathare goal was keen to parry away the effort.

The second half blew into a full contest with the home side clearly aiming at picking all the three points.

The own goal

Kimanzi brought off Osborne Monday for Brian Osumba with Humphrey Mieno now dropping to form the defensive shield infront of the back three. Osumba took his place as the creative mind infront of the strikers and this increased Tusker’s danger going forward.

But Mathare would not coil into their cocoons after getting the early goal. In the 53rd minute, Mata beat Atudo for pace on the right before forcing a brilliant save off Faroul Sikhalo.

15 minutes to the final whistle Jesse Were came close to his eighth goal of the season but he saw his strike come off the upright after Dunga had beautifully chested down the ball for him from Kemba’s cross.

Mathare would be unfortunate to concede eight minutes to time, Owino turning the ball into his own net from Were’s cross. Okumbi had already been preparing to bring on defender Robinson Kamura to shield his one goal advantage but once his side conceded, he pulled off Mwaura for striker Peter Okoth.

“We played very well and we should have been able to guard the one goal lead and probably score more. It was unfortunate that we conceded an own goal because of a slight lapse in communication but all the same it is a point we pick away from home and it is important to us.” Okumbi said.

His opposite number Kimanzi offered; “It was a good game off football between two very good sides and I am happy that my boys had the character to fight till the final whistle and score the equalizer. In football you have ups and downs, we had played three matches, winning all and we drop to a point today. We take it though and plan positively about the next match.”

At the Thika Municipal Stadium, hosts Thika United suffered their first loss in eight matches going down 3-2 to Sofapaka. Antony Ndolo and Abdul Razak Fiston had given Sofapaka a 2-0 advantage going into the breather before Fiston completed his brace at the start of the second half. Kevin Oliech and Sammy Mejja gave Thika some late hope but it was never enough to get at least a point. Batoto ba Mungu now move to 6th with the result.