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Mathare United hold Gor, not intimidated by Oliech’s return to action

2019 Kenyan Premier League:

Game Week 6:

Vihiga United 1-1 Mt Kenya United

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) 1-1 Kariobangi Sharks

Bandari 2-1 Sony Sugar

Chemelil Sugar 0-1 Western Stima

Mathare United 1-1 Gor Mahia

Ulinzi Stars 0-0 Zoo Kericho

Homeboyz 0-1 Posta Rangers

AFC Leopards 1-1 Nzoia Sugar

Sofapaka 2-3 Tusker

RETURN of big name Dennis Oliech formerly of Arabian Gulf and European leagues to the Kenyan Premier League on Sunday may have been the talking point, but the 1-1 draw of his reigning champions Gor Mahia was a resounding endorsement of Mathare United as possible serious title contestants this season.

At the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Sunday Mathare  put aside the feeling that this was a welcome jamboree for Oliech,  who rode the Kenya national football team Harambee Stars as a colossus since 2002 and then moving to Qatar and France.

Gor ‘s Rwandese import Jacques Tuyisenge  broke the ice with a converted penalty on 32 minutes after Lawrence Juma was hacked in the box by Mathare United goalkeeper Allan Owiny.

Dennis Oliech, 33, returning to Gor Mahia on Sunday after fame in Al Arabi (Qatar) Nantes, Auxere and Ajaccio (France)

Dennis Oliech, 33, returning to Gor Mahia on Sunday after fame in Al Arabi (Qatar) Nantes, Auxere and Ajaccio (France)

Mathare United’s Kevin Kimani was to restore parity from yet another penalty awarded after James Situma was adjudged to have been clipped inside the box by Boniface Omondi on 56 minutes.

After all the while watching the action from the bench, Oliech was given a standing ovation by a sizeable crowd that turned up at the 60,000-seater when he was introduced for Gor to replace Nicholas Kipkirui on 68 minutes.

Oliech’s return to the Kenyan top flight football after 16 years however ended just with a few muted applauses from the fans. He had only a few sniffs at goal and lacked the final touch that would’ve made the difference. Oliech missed a free header from a Shaffique Batambuze cross on 75 minutes.

Mathare United hot-shot Cliff Nyakeya leads goal charge for title seeking for Kenyan Premier League champions

Mathare United hot-shot Cliff Nyakeya leads goal charge for title seeking for Kenyan Premier League champions

Gor, who face Posta Rangers on Wednesday in a rescheduled fixture, are on seven points from five games. The 10th draw in 23 meetings between Gor and Mathare saw Mathare reclaim the KPL top spot with 14 points, one ahead of second-placed Tusker after six rounds.

Mathare had fluffed glorious chances before conceding. On 21 minutes, James Kinyanjui brilliantly worked some space for the cross putting it on a plate for Cliff Nyakeya who somehow failed to convert into an empty net from three yards.

The 2008 champions had another staggering miss a minute later this time James Situma’s delightful cross being cleared by Joash Onyango for a corner kick that Clifford Alwanga’s header skimmed over the bar. Kimani’s deep free kick from outside 18 after Ernest Wendo had brought down Nyakeya veered off the target on the 26th minute.

Kevin Kimani ... scored to level for MUFC in the tie against Gor Mahia

Kevin Kimani … scored to level for MUFC in the tie against Gor Mahia

Gor were forced to make a change on 63 minutes after Joash Onyango was hobbled off the pitch with a knock. Pascal Ogweno replaced him. Batambuze’s rasping shot from 30 yards on 70 minutes was parried out by Owiny for a corner.

TEAMS:

GOR MAHIA: Fredrick Odhiambo: Philemon Otieno, Joash Onyango, Harun Shakava, Shafique Batambuze, Ernest Wendo, Francis Kahata, Nicholas Kipkirui, Boniface Omondi, Lawrence Juma, Jacques Tuyisenge.

Reserves: Shaban Odhoji (gk); Erisa Ssekisambu, Dennis Oliech, Pascal Ogweno, Geoffrey Ochieng, Samuel Onyango, Kenneth Muguna

Coach: Oktay Hassan (Britain)

MATHARE UNITED: 26 Allan Owiny: 16 David Owino,  28 James Situma,  19 Johnstone Omurwa, 12 Andrew Juma,  22 Roy Okal,  29 Chrispin Oduor (captain), 11 Cliff Nyakeya,  17 James Kinyanjui,  7 Kevin Kimani,  21 Clifford Alwanga

Reserves: 1 David Okello (gk):  20 Martin Ongori,  8 Alphonce Ndonye,  5 Francis Omondi,  27 Tyson Otieno,  2 Daniel Mwaura,  9 Chris Ochieng’

Coach: Francis Kimanzi (Kenya)

AFC Leopards 1-1 Nzoia Sugar

Nzoia Sugar came from behind to draw 1-1 with AFC Leopards on Sunday at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on Sunday. Brian Marita’s volley on 44 minutes was cancelled out by substitute Randy Bakari in stoppage time.

Nzoia were reduced to 10 men when Elvis Ronack was sent off for an off the ball incident inside the penalty area 10 minutes to the final whistle. Leopards, who registered their first win this season with a 2-0 win over Posta Rangers last weekend, have seven points, two below Nicholas Muyoti-coached Nzoia Sugar after six matches.

Leopards coach, Serbian Marko Vasiljevic lined up Rwandese custodian Eric Ndayishimiye, with Isaac Oduro and Robinson Kamura partnering in the defence, as Marita and Aziz Okaka led the forward line that also had the latter’s younger brother Jafari Owiti.

KCB 1-1 Kariobangi Sharks

In Sunday’s early kick-off match at Kenyatta Stadium Benson Amianda cancelled Vincent Wasambo’s goal as Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) rallied to hold Kariobangi Sharks 1-1.

After a goalless first half, Wasambo opened the scoring with a long range shot on 55 minutes, but Amianda, who joined KCB in pre-season from second-tier side Ushuru, tapped home the equaliser after Sharks failed to clear their lines.

KCB, who suspended assistant coaches Elvis Ayany and Ezekiel Akwana alongside captain Dennis Orenge on Friday, remain winless after six matches and are ranked 17th with two points , similar to Mount Kenya United, who battled to a 1-1 draw away to Vihiga United. Sharks, who play Western Stima, next, have 10 points.

Sofapaka 2-3 Tusker

Before Sunday fixtures Tusker had moved briefly to the top of the Kenyan Premier League standings for at least 24 hours after coming from behind to defeat Sofapaka 3-2 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Saturday.

John Avire gave Sofapaka [Batoto Ba Mungu] the lead in the 38th minute via a well taken free kick but Tusker rallied in the second half to score three goals in 15 minutes through Timothy Otieno, John Kamau and Justine Omary. Omary would put into his own net in the dying minutes of the game as Sofapaka pushed for at least a share of the spoils.

Coming into the game in third place and just three points adrift of top spot, Tusker knew that a comfortable win would move them to the top of the standings ahead of Mathare United who were set to the pitch on Sunday – against Gor Mahia.

Robert Matano’s charges after suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Western Stima on match day two went four straight and moved to 13 points level with Mathare United, edging the Slum Boys by virtue of being the most potent side in the division thus far.

For Sofapaka, under the new regime of Mellis Medo are finding it hard to grapple with the American’s tactics as they have won only one of their six games which was the season opener against Mt Kenya United.

TEAMS:

SOFAPAKA: Richard Aimo: Cliff Kasuti, Moussa Omar, Soter Kayumba, Titus Achesa, Elly Asieche, Brian Magonya, Michael Oduor, Dennis Odhiambo, Johna Avire, Umaru Kasumba

Reserves: Isaiah Wakasala (gk); Jacob Fina, Pistone Mutamba, Stephen Waruru, Tevin Omutere, Ibrahim Kajuba, Cornelius Juma

Coach: Mellis Medo

TUSKER: Emery Mvuyekure: Modest Aloro, Sammy Meja, Justine Omaty, Lloyd Wahome, Hashim Sempala, Peter Nzuki, Sydney Ochieng’,  Boniface Muchiri, Timothy Otieno, David Juma

Reserves: Amini Muzerwa, Faraj Ominde, Collins Shivachi, Kevin Omondi, John Kamau, Hillary Wandera, Omondi.

Coach: Robert Matano

Bandari 2-1 Sony Sugar

Bandari took a morale boosting 2-1 win over the visiting Sony Sugar at Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) Sports Club, Mbaraki in Mombasa on Sunday.

Both sides finished the game with 10 men as Bandari defender Nicholas Meja was sent odd by the referee for a second bookable offence in the 49th minute, while Sony Sugar defender Kennedy Owino was ejected in injury time also for a double.

Bandari scored through Dan Guya and Abdalla Hassan. Former Gor Mahia and Bandari striker Enock Agwanda had levelled for the visitors.

Bandari assistant coach Nassor Mwakoba said it was a difficult match for them especially when Meja was red carded but was happy they picked up the three points. “We hope our fans will continue to come out in great numbers and cheer our players to victory,” he said.

Sony Sugar coach Patrick Odhiambo blamed the loss on school boy mistakes committed by his players. “We lost out of our own making, with some players showing a lot of immaturity. We gave our opponents what should have been our three points.”

In the seventh minute Bandari almost had the lead from a David King’atua powerful free-kick but Sony defender David Mwangi cleared with goalkeeper Kevin Omondi well beaten. Sony  got their first chance in the 12th minute when Agwanda also took a free-kick which forced Bandari goalkeeper Farouk Shikhalo to make a brilliant dive to save. Six minutes later, Hassan received a through pass from William Wadri but made a slow shot which was easily saved by Omondi.

In the 43rd minute, Sony’s Kelvin Wesonga made a solo move from the right flank and squared but Tobias Otieno failed to connect, allowing Brian Otieno to clear the danger.

Bandari took the lead in the 58th minute when Guya scored from a goalmouth melee off a free-kick by King’atua.  Sony captain Agwanda levelled for the visitors in the 71st minute from a cross by Daniel Otieno.

The winner came in the 75th minute when a corner by Hassan went straight into the other corner of the net.

Homeboyz 0-1 Posta Rangers

Substitute Ken Mutembei scored as visiting Posta Rangers beat Kakamega Homeboyz 1-0 in an entertaining League  fixture at Bukhungu Stadium, Kakamega County on Sunday.

The win was the second for Rangers and first for coach John Kamau since he took over the reins of the club a week ago after Sammy Omollo was sent packing for poor results. Kamau hailed his boys for the win saying they played well and deserved to take home all the three points.

“I am very happy with the players because they fought hard. The match was tough right from the start, but we managed to hold our opponents and scored,” he said.

His counterpart Paul Nkata bemoaned Rangers victory saying Mutembei’s goal was offside. “They scored but was it a genuine goal? That was an offside,” said a furious Nkata.

Homeboyz began the action strong with Rangers goalkeeper Levis Opiyo forced to come out of his line after 10 minutes to deny Moses Mudavadi, who was a menace for the visitors on the left wing. Benjamin Oketch failed to capitalise on a 13th minute foul to fire the hosts ahead, before their goalkeeper Gabriel Andika was drawn into action for the first time a few minutes later.

Danson Kago had done well to beat George Mandela with his pace only for Andika to come out of his line early to gather the ball, before the rushing midfielder could place it behind the net. Homeboyz continued to dictate the exchanges but were unable to break the deadlock due to a series of inaccurate passes from the flanks.

Peter Thiong’o, who was playing on the right flank, found himself on the receiving end from the supporters when his crosses twice went over the Rangers goal.

The visitors almost snatched the lead two minutes to the break when Joseph Mbugi played in Brian Osumbwa but Festus Okiring stretched well to block the latter’s goal bound shot.

In the second half, Rangers were the first to threaten when Mbugi sent in a long delivery from the left which Daniel Sakari rose high to clear, before any of the yellow white shirts could connect. Moses Chikati had a brilliant run on the right flank but failed to pick any of his compatriots in Ranger’s box with his cross from the left, as Francis Nambute saw his two successive efforts sprung over the host’s woodwork.

The hardworking Nambute almost gave Rangers an undeserved lead in the 70th minute when he collected a loose ball at the centre to send a long range finish, which missed the target by a few inches.

Mutembei struck in the 85th minute from substitute Luiz Tera’s assist to fire high at the centre of Homeboyz’s goal. He thought he has grabbed a brace in the extra-time but the goal was flagged of for offside.

Ulinzi Stars 0-0 Zoo Kericho

Ulinzi Stars fired blanks as Zoo Kericho frustrated their efforts to bag maximum points, the fixture ending barren at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru on Sunday.

Ulinzi’s  Enosh Ochieng’ will rue three easy chances missed in a row in the last quarter of the match that would have lifted the soldiers. Ulinzi have won only one game — at home against KCB, whom they beat 2-0 in their season opener. Last season, Zoo Kericho under coach Sammy Okoth beat Ulinzi Stars home and away.

Ulinzi Stars defender-turned striker David Waweru opened the floodgate of missed chances in the 60th minute when he rolled with the ball and with only goalkeeper Martin Lang’at to beat, shot into his waiting hands with a feeble shot.

Moments later, new signing Ezekiel Okare soared high inside the box but his glancing header sailed over the cross bar. In the 73rd minute, Mark Bikokwa. who came in for Okare, fired a salvo  which was parried for a fruitless corner by goalkeeper Lang’at, whom Zoo should thank for stopping dangerous shots throughout the afternoon.

“We didn’t have many scoring chances owing to the departure of our three key players, but I am happy we have collected a point at Ulinzi’s backyard,” said coach Sammy Okoth.

His counterpart Dunstan Nyaudo was speechless after the final whistle. ”I have no words,” he said adding: “I can’t explain why my boys are not scoring any goals. Today we missed three clear cut chances when our opponent did not make any threatening attempt in our goalmouth.”

Vihiga United 1-1 Mt Kenya United

They finished with 10-men on but Mount Kenya United held on to pick up their second point of the campaign when they tied 1-1with with Vihiga United at Bhukungu Stadium in Kakamega County.

Timona Wanyonyi had fired Mount Kenya ahead in the eighth minute before substitute Alex Imbusia struck in the 69th minute to deny the coach Antony Mwangi’s side their first win of the season.

Vihiga threatened early when Chris Masinza sent in a long dangerous cross from the right wing, which Dennis Wafula delayed in his run to tap past Philip Odhiambo at the visitors’ goal, before  a Steve Wakanya heavy strike from the centre went wide for a throw-in in favour of the visitors.

Wanyonyi snatched the lead for Mount Kenya after eight minutes when he left for dead two Vihiga players inside the danger area, before turning well to shoot past a helpless Geoffrey Oputi on the left side of the goalpost.

The surprise goal seemed to have awakened the hosts’ midfield which was scrappy in the early exchanges. They would have levelled matters in the 19th minute when Amos Kigadi found himself left with Odhiambo as the only man to beat, the goalkeeper leaving his line early to make a save.

Wakanya was guilty of failing to cancel Wanyonyi’s early effort a few minutes later from close range as the coach Michael Mururi’s side continued pressing for a halftime equaliser. And they were not lucky again two minutes to the break as Odhiambo rose high to pair for a fruitless corner-kick Kigadi’s header.

Looking to turn fortune to his side, Mururi made a double substitution at the start of second half, resting Dennis Wafula and Masinza for Alex Imbusia and Michael Isabwa. Odhiambo denied substitute Isabwa from a dead-ball situation at the edge of the box, as Oputi also did well the other side to save Vihiga from going down by two goals after Wanyonyi had sent in a dangerous header.

Substitute Imbusia levelled for Vihiga in the 69th minute when he bent in a free-kick at the edge of Mt Kenya’s box. Center referee had awarded Vihiga a foul and sent keeper Odhiambo out after he handed the ball outside the box, when he came out of his line early to save Kigadi’s deny goal bound shot. Odhiambo was replaced by reserve keeper Franklin Mwendwa.

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