Tusker's strong brew still tops

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NAIROBI, Kenya, March 23- Chemelil Sugar were the latest to get intoxicated by the powerful brew being served by Tusker FC whose early season charge in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) survived what was forecast to be a potential banana skin away tie.

Round 4 of the top tier club competition also saw long suffering Coast fans celebrate as newly promoted Bandari crushed Nairobi City Stars at Mbaraki Sports Club on Sunday as misfiring champions, Ulinzi Stars registered their first victory of the campaign a day earlier at the same venue at the expense of winless Congo United.

At Chemelil, leaders Tusker took only three minutes to open the scoring through former AFC Leopards forward, Dennis Mukaisi and the sugar men were still reeling from the early blow when George Midenyo made it 2-0 on ten minutes.

The ‘drunk and disorderly’ Chemelil defense was breached for a third time on 30 minutes by Midenyo who completed his brace to leave his side with a perfect record at the summit of the KPL with 12 points.

Mbaraki Sports Club, the choice venue for both Coast clubs who were promoted this season was a mixed bag of emotions in matches that were televised by terrestrial pay television channel, SuperSport.

On Saturday, champions Ulinzi improved to 11th with four points with a hard fought 2-1 defeat of Congo United. The soldiers who have already lost twice in their title defense got off the blocks firing and were 2-0 up inside the first quarter of an hour with Mike Baraza giving the lead on six minutes and Stephen Ochola pressed the advantage on the 15th.

Any notions the outcome would be a rout were curtailed by Congo who crawed their way back to the match with a much improved display in the second period. Aziz Mohamed halved the deficit in the 65th minute with a header and Ulinzi were on the ropes in the final quarter but held on for the win.

Disenchanted Mombasa fans returned the next day to witness Bandari tear Nairobi City Stars apart and it took only four minutes for Uganda import, Peter Musiime to beat Peter Odhiambo in the City Stars goal with a rifled free-kick.

Khalfani Hamisi left Odhiambo no chance in the 23rd with a powerful shot before defender; Arthur Museve struck in the 37th for City Stars to stem the tide for his beleaguered teammates. The respite was brief as Shaban Kenga restored the two goal margin in the 43rd to bring a riveting first half to a close.

The lull in the second period was broken by national team call-up Abdulwahab Musa who stepped up to beat Odhiambo from the spot when whistler, Nasoor Ndoka, awarded Bandari a penalty after Celestine Imwene handled in the box in a scramble from a corner.

Bandari’s emphatic victory over the sorry City Stars lifted them from bottom to 14th as Congo United and City Stars slipped into the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, crowd favourites, AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia registered identical 1-0 victories over Karuturi Sports and Western Stima in matches played at Mumias Sports Complex and Nairobi’s City Stadium while 2008 champions Mathare United drew a blank against Rangers at Nyayo National Stadium.

Meanwhile, two matches involving Football Kenya Limited Cup winners, Sofapaka have been rescheduled to allow them take on Egypt’s Ismailia in a second round CAF Confederations Cup tie.

Their clash against Sony Sugar initially scheduled for last Saturday will now be played on Sunday in Awendo while their tie against league leaders, Tusker FC has been moved to Tuesday, April 5 at Nyayo National Stadium under floodlights.

Sofapaka slumped 2-0 to Ismaili in their first leg tie in Cairo on Saturday where Mohamed Abou Greisha scored the opener on 10 minutes before midfielder Hosny Abd Rabou sealed victory five minutes later. The return leg will be played on April 2 in Nairobi.

Last year, Sofapaka the then KPL titleholders, lost by an identical score to the same opponents in Egypt after holding them 0-0 at home in the CAF Champions League.

KPL ROUND 4 RESULTS

Gor Mahia 1 – 0 Western Stima (City Stadium)

Bandari 4 – 1    City Stars (Mombasa)

Mathare United 0 – 0 Rangers (Nyayo)

Thika United    1 – 2 KCB (Thika)

AFC Leopards    1 – 0 Karuturi Sports    (Mumias)

Congo United 1 – 2 Ulinzi Stars (Mombasa)

Chemelil Sugar 0 – 3 Tusker (Chemelil)

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