NAIROBI- Dead ball specialist, Noah Abich, brought high flying Tusker and Jesse ‘hat-trick’ Were crashing back to earth with a thud on Friday when he delivered the only goal in a close Kenyan Premier League encounter at Nairobi’s City Stadium.
The Brewers who were looking to claw back the gap from the top against absent champions and runaway leaders, Gor Mahia, to eight points were stunned when their former lynchpin in defence delivered the fatal blow with a pin-point free-kick in the 43rd minute.
Tusker were denied the chance to move up to second on the table above Sofapaka and Ulinzi Stars with the 2010 champions, Mathare showing scant respect to another titan of the competition.
The turning moment of the contest came when won a free-kick on the edge of the area and ironically, they felt bitter about the decision by referee James Kagera, to award it to them instead of playing the advantage after Daniel Mwaura was scythed down.
To the players, Edwin Lavatsa, the former Gor forward was in a better placed position to score in the box but Abich stepped up and curled in a ferocious shot that left keeper Duncan Ochieng in the Tusker goal hanging desperately in trying to stop it before falling to the ground with a thud as the net bulged.
In the second half, Were spurned a gilt edged opportunity to net his 20th of the season but the hottest property in front of goal saw the killer touch desert him at the vital moment in heading wide from Daniel Kago dipping delivery.
Perhaps the reported interest from Premier Soccer League side, Bidvest Wits, has turned his head but it was among the half chances he wasted in the match.
In fact, Mathare would have extended their lead in the dying stages on the break but they did enough to seal the points despite over five minutes of added on time.
Tusker had blown apart Chemelil 5-1, then Sofapaka 5-0 before Thika United got to the end of a 4-0 spanking with Were notching hat-tricks in all those heavy routs but on Friday, Mathare once again turned up against the big boys.