NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 14- Robinson Kamura’s second half free-kick gave Mathare United a 1-0 win over bottom side City Stars at the Nyayo National Stadium, further compounding the Kawangware based side’s hope for survival.
City Stars will have only themselves to blame as they picked their fourth consecutive loss, having squandered chances with Ezekiel Odera the biggest culprit.
Odera had a glorious opportunity in the 12th minute after picking the ball at the edge of the box from a Mathare defensive error, but he failed to punish the mistake with his attempt at side-stepping keeper Robert Mboya ending in futility after the custodian stretched his hands on the ground to pick the ball.
He had another opportunity 10 minutes later from a Robert Ndung’u pass but he shot wide when he had a clear vision of goal and under no pressure.
With Sofapaka having won 2-0 against Ushuru on Saturday, City Stars were under pressure to bounce back as well and crawl off the bottom and it was evident they wanted the three points with the burst of pace they started the game with.
But the more chances they missed, the more Mathare slowly came back into the contest. Youngster Cliff Nyakeya had the Slum Boys’ first attempt at goal a 25th minute shot that went over from a Derrick Onyango flick.
Chris Oduor tested Ronnie Kagunzi on the half hour mark with a stinging shot from the edge of the box to force the keeper spill the ball but Derrick Onyango could not get the rebound into the net.
Five minutes to the breather, Odera had another sumptuous opportunity to get his side into the lead, but he fluffed his lines again this time volleying wide a well weighted long pass from Frankline Osama.
In the second half, Mathare head coach Francis Kimanzi introduced the speedy Harrison Mwendwa for Daniel Mwaura while the club’s top scorer Obadiah Ndege came on for Derrick Onyango, a definite change to increase the attacking pace.
Ndege had a chance in the 65th minute but his shot from an Edward Seda pass was well saved by Kagunzi.
The goal though finally came in the 71st minute, Kamura striking a wonderful freekick from 40 yards out which took a swerve to beat Kagunzi.
It was a calm nerving goal especially with the side having gone for five winless matches, four of them being losses.
City Stars gave a fight in an attempt to come from down and possibly win the game. Ugandan winger Jimmy Bageya had two shots from the left roll wide, but his best was in the 83rd minute when he came one on one with Mboya.
After beating the offside trap, Bageya attempted to go past Mboya, but the custodian showed his agility and anticipation superbly, springing to his right to tap the ball off the forward’s feet and his defense cleared.
Mathare tightened their defense, ensuring they didn’t give spaces for City Stars to find goal scoring opportunities. They held on for the win which now takes them third on the Kenyan Premier League standings with 34 points, seven off leaders Tusker FC.