NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22 –Substitute Obadiah Ndege scored twice as Mathare United climbed third on the Kenyan Premier League table after beating Bandari 3-1 in an entertaining match hosted at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.
Anthony ‘Muki’ Kimani had scored the opener for Bandari at the quarter hour mark before Whyvonne Isuza equalized in the 32nd minute.
Ndege, who came on in the second half replacing Derrick Onyango, sent Mathare ahead with his first touch before sealing the win from the penalty spot.
The win, which saw Mathare break a three match winless run, took them to 42 points and close on Western Stima who have the same points but with an inferior goal difference while Bandari remained 11th on 31 points.
Bandari caretaker coach Ken Odhiambo made four changes from the squad that lost 1-0 to Tusker, with Kimani, Musa Mudde, Danny Sserunkuma and Edwin Lavatsa returning to the starting line-up.
His opposite number Francis Kimanzi was boosted by the return of reigning KPL midfielder of the year Eric Johana who played an integral part in Mathare’s midfield that dominated the proceedings.
In a first half that saw Mathare have 10 goal attempts in contrast to Bandari’s three, the Dockers took control of the opening quarter hour where Lavatsa came close with a shot from the right but was denied by the side post.
This was after Mathare goal keeper Robert Mboya gifted Lavatsa the opportunity after poorly clearing David Mwangi’s back-pass in the 10th minute.
Mathare were finally punished for their mistakes five minutes later when defender Robinson Kamura hacked down Bandari captain Shaban Kenga in the box to concede a penalty that was well converted by Kimani.
The goal put Mathare under pressure as they desperately surged forward in search of the equaliser with Johana’s long range efforts going wide.
At the half hour mark, Bandari custodian Wilson Obungu was forced to make his first save, punching over Alfred Ndonye’s shot after the midfielder did well to beat Humphrey Okoti and create the first chance for the hosts.
Mathare gradually grew in the game and it paid off two minutes later after a brilliant build up from the midfield saw them complete eight successive passes before Daniel Mwaura brought in a fine cross for Isuza to perfectly finish for the leveller.
The match turned to be an end-to-end action with the pressure turning back to Bandari, forcing defender Shariff Mohammed to clear Chris Oduor’s cross off the line for a fruitless corner after Obungu had spilled Johana’s shot in the 37th minute.
On the other end, Mboya tipped over Lavatsa’s strike after the Bandari striker did well to race from the right and turn to take the ferocious shot.
The second half belonged to Mathare who could have netted three goals if George Owino’s strike was not ruled for offside.
The disallowed goal came eight minutes after Ndege had nodded home the second goal for Mathare when he rose high to head past Obungu from Kamura’s free-kick for his sixth goal of the season.
Ndege completed his brace in the dying minutes from the spot after Shariff Mohammed brought down Mwaura in the box.