NAIROBI, July 24 – Jesee ‘hat-trick’ Were completed a first successive triple treble in Kenyan Premier League (KPL) history as Tusker FC turned Thika United’s milk sour with a 4-0 rout in a lop sided clash at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
KPL needs to procure more match balls if the Harambee Stars foward continues with his trick having notched a treble against Chemelil, Sofapaka and now Thika in as many matches as he took his tally to season to 19, and it could have been more.
In the early kick-off at the same venue, Moses Arita grabbed a brace to help his side Ushuru FC hold Western Stima to a 2-2 draw.
Tusker’s win saw Were stretch his lead at the top of the goal scoring charts to seven over closest challenger, Michael Olunga of champions Gor Mahia who are away to Cecafa Kagame Cup.
“I’m feeling great and it’s all because of hard work. I believe I’m the future and I Know I can even do better so watch this space. I have 19 goals so far and there are 10 matches remaining so if I hit my target of 20, the rest will be extra.
“The hat-tricks are very important and I that my team-mates and coach for pushing me to the limit,” Were, who has nicked 11 goals in five matches, said after another handsome win for the most fearsome KPL side in the second leg.
It begs the question, where were the Brewers in the first leg when they failed to impose their title credentials with back-to-back winners, Gor, looking set to complete their own KPL hat-trick of league crowns?
The result saw Tusker leapfrog AFC Leopards to third on 35 points, 11 behind leaders and champions K’Ogalo who did their reputation no harm by qualifying for the Kagame Cup quarters after a torrid group stage exit last year.
By the end of the first-half, Were had notched a brace to leave his side 2-0 to the good at the breather, having spurned a number of opportunities to rack up a cricket score.
The striker opened the flood gates in the 25th minute from the spot, after Kevin Kimani was pulled down by Simon Mbugua before doubling the lead on the half hour mark with a brilliant volleyed finish from a Humphrey Mieno loop.
Few things impress the ever calm and collected former Stars head coach, Francis Kimanzi, but Tusker’s second made him leap from his technical area to celebrate like he had scored.
Thika who are yet to win in four, were quick off the blocks after two minutes with a well executed shot from Kennedy Otieno but Tusker custodian, Duncan Ochieng’ turned it over.
Otieno was at it again in the 25th, when he left Tusker defence for dead but lost his footing as his shot hit side netting.
Skipper, Dennis Odhiambo then found Ray Omondi in the box on the stroke of halftime but his strike was well dealt with by Ochieng’ who is yet to lose a match since returning to the starting line-up from a long arm injury layoff.
The second half was the turnaround for Were who steered his teammates on the rampage as they invaded the Thika’s goalmouth from the onset almost at will.
The Brewers extended the lead in the 53rd after Danson Kago found Kimani who tapped home for the third and two minutes later the Tusker captain and man of the moment Were completed his hat-trick when he slotted Noah Wafula’s cross from the left.
Ochieng’ pulled a fine save on the 70th when he finger-tipped Otieno’s free-kick to deny Thika a scant consolation.
The result saw Thika drop to 10th on 25 as the league takes a break on Saturday before resuming on Sunday with four matches on the card where GOtv Shield champions Sofapaka will be out to redeem themselves when they travel to Bandari in Mombasa.
Muhoroni Youth will host Ulinzi Stars while KCB will square it out with Mathare United at Nairobi City Stadium as struggling Nairobi City Stars take on Chemelil Sugar in Machakos.