NAIROBI, February 18 – City Stars head coach John ‘Bobby’ Ogolla started his life at the club with a 2-2 draw against visiting GOtv Shield champions Bandari in their first SportPesa Premier League match played at Nyayo National Stadium on Thursday.
City Stars old boy Anthony Kimani grabbed a brace after cancelling Oscar Mbugua’s third minute opener before erasing Jimmy Bagaye’s lead to save Bandari’s blushes.
Bandari finished 10-men after Musa Mudde was sent off in the 73rd minute for a foul play against fellow Ugandan Bagaye.
City Star’s attack in the first half paid off with the first goal coming early when Mbugua drove in a low cross from outside the box to force Bandari chase the game.
The Dockers, who entered the encounter at the back of a 2-0 loss away to DRC’s St. Eloi Lupopo in the CAF Confederations Cup, found their footing at the quarter hour mark thanks to Kimani’s free header.
The equaliser woke up the hosts who nearly replied after three minutes though Davis Ikocheli’s shot that troubled Bandari keeper Wilson Obungu who did well to recover swiftly and deny the former Ushuru FC defender.
Bagaye who saved the team from relegation last season, rose to the occasion to reclaim the lead in the 27th minute after picking Mbugua’s pass and dance past Shariff Mohammed before lobbying the ball past the outstretched keeper to make it 2-1.
Bandari’s push for the leveller did not bear fruits as efforts from former City Stars duo Danny Sserunkuma and George Abege failed to hit the target.
Kimani once again came to Bandari’s rescue in the 56th minute after converting from the spot following Calvin Marasawa’s hand ball in the box.
The visitors surge for a third goal on resumption was slowed down after Mudde was shown a straight red card forcing Bandari head coach Twahir Muhiddin to bring in Meshack Karani for Bernard Mang’oli.
The tactical substitution did not stop City Stars from attacking with this time Benson Iregi almost earning his side the winner three minutes to full time but Obungu was on toes to see both sides share spoils.