NAIROBI, Kenya, August 7- Ismail Dunga, Kevin Kimani and substitute Jesse Were shared the goals as Tusker FC toppled absent champions Gor Mahia at the summit of the Kenyan Premier League in a 3-0 win over basement side Top Fry Nakuru All Stars in a pulsating encounter at Nairobi’s Ruaraka Grounds.
K’Ogalo’s two weeks absence in the league due to involvement in Cecafa Club Championships saw the Brewers press the advantage and return at the top of the log on goal difference with Dunga opening the scoring from the spot in the 42nd minute.
Kimani doubled the lead in the second half from Khalid Aucho’s assist before Were sealed the win after placing the ball past keeper Shaban Odoji in the far left corner.
“We knew the game would be tough considering we were playing a side that is struggling but we told players to stay focused and we are happy they did that.
“It’s a good feeling to return at the top but we will not be carried away by it. We will fight to make sure we stay on top and win the big prize,” Tusker FC assistant coach Leonard Odipo said after the win.
His opposite number, Peter Okidi conceded defeat and blamed his charges for failing to utilize chances that could have seen them take an early lead only for Erastus Mwaniki to miss a penalty.
“We will blame ourselves for the defeat, we were awarded a penalty but we failed to convert, they got theirs and scored. We also failed make good use of our chances compared to them who utilized.
“The match could have ended in a barren draw but miscommunication cost us and my strikers had a bad day in office but we will work on that in our next match at home against Mathare United and hopefully pick maximum points.”
The Brewers were the first to get off the blocks as Odoji rescued the visitors after stopping Andrew Tololwa’s cheeky back heel from creeping in.
All Stars failed to punish the hosts as a poor clearance saw Brian Osumba handle Aucho’s effort in the box obliging referee Nasur Doka to point at the spot, but Mwaniki could not break the deadlock after seeing his strike hit the side post and out.
Okidi’s charges paid the price after Dunga showed how it is done from 12 yards after Tusker won a penalty through left-back Aboud Omar who was hacked down by Kapilima Kanamuli in the box at the stroke of half-time.
Dunga was pulled off on resumption for Were who made an immediate impact as the Brewers stretched their advantage when Kimani found the back of the net after looping the ball past the stranded Odoji who had come off his line.
Former Gor forward, Tonny Nyangor, had two open chances but his efforts went wide in front of goal but on the other end, Tuesker were clinical and got their third when Were raced to a ball before beating Odoji with a low left foot shot that nestled in the far post.
In Machakos, Sofapaka fell to visiting Thika United 2-0 with Michael Luvutsi finding the back of the net in the 74th before Moses Odhiambo scored his first goal since joining the club nine minutes later to complete the upset.
The early kick-off in Ruaraka saw Mathare United gran the points at the death with a last minute goal from the spot to beat visiting Bandari FC 1-0.
Harambee Stars keeper Wilson Obungu will blame himself for the loss after needlessly pulled down defender Edgar ‘Fighter’ Ochieng’ in the box for referee Davies Omweno to award the penalty that was dispatched with minimum of fuss despite the pressure by Noah Abich.
Gor left the country Wednesday for Rwanda, where they are hoping to be crowned regional club champions for the first time since 1985 and must play catch-up when they return for their domestic forays in a fortnight should they sail through to the finals.