NAKURU, April 17 – Francis Kimanzi’s Mathare United moved top of the SportPesa Premier league after a 2-0 win over Ulinzi Stars at the Afraha Stadium courtesy of two late goals from George Owino and Eric Johannah.
Ulinzi were punished for missing many open scoring opportunities while Mathare were rewarded for their resilience and patience.
The hosts who have won only once in their last four home matches had a superb chance just 50 seconds into the match when mark Bikokwa hit the upright with only Mathare keeper Robert Mboya to beat, after the custodian spilled a ferocious shot from John Mark Makwatta.
The military side kept their positive start into the match with John Nairuka attempting an effort from a free-kick but it went wide after Bikokwa had been brought down.
Bikokwa had another chance on the quarter hour mark but his glancing header from an Omar Mbongi set-piece flushed wide.
The soldiers kept their pressure with Bikokwa and Makwatta keeping the Mathare backline on toes.
Slight showers which increased to a heavy downpour later on made it difficult to maintain the high speed start of the match to slow the pace of the match.
In the second half, the military side sought to keep up with the pressure and eight minutes after the restart, Ulinzi had another glorious chance from a Mbongi free-kick.
Geoffrey Kokoyo connected with the ball at the far post but Mboya scrambled to save with the ball bouncing off the upright.
Nairuka should have buried home from the rebound but he miscued his kick with Mathare clearing the danger.
Mathare began stepping up on the hour mark to force Ulinzi custodian James Saruni fully stretch to tip the ball away from Obadiah Ndege’s feet as he attempted to skip past him and score.
From the counter, Ulinzi came close but Kevin Amwayi slipped as he raced into the box after being put through by Nairuka.
Substitute Oscar Wamalwa had a chance after breaking the offside trap in the 72nd minute, but he shot straight at Mboya when he had a chance to race into the box and make it simple to score.
Ulinzi were made to pay for their poor finishing with Owino rising to head in the opener unmarked at the far post from a Noah Abich free kick from the right.
Four minutes later, reigning midfielder of the year Eric Johannah put the game to bed four minutes later, dribbling into the box from the right and shooting low past Saruni.
This is the second consecutive loss for the soldiers whose scoring rate has been an issue all through and Robert Matano’s title charge comes under severe pressure.
Francis Kimanzi’s strong start to the season continues as he picked his sixth win of the season and he remains on course to steer the Slum Boys to their second title for the first time since 2008.