NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – Tusker FC are a match away from reclaiming the Kenyan Premier League title after silencing Sony Sugar 1-0 away at the Awendo Green Stadium on Saturday.
Noah Wafula smashed home the winner in the 32nd minute to hand Tusker the advantage as they restored their seven point lead at the summit of the KPL table on 55 points ahead of defending champions Gor Mahia who face Mathare United on Sunday.
The match had a lot of stake for both teams as Sony are seeking to finish in the top eight, but it was Tusker who wanted it more with the Victory leaving them with a must win match against struggling AFC Leopards to end K’Ogalo’s dominance in the national title.
“The win has come as a result of hard work and we maneuvered to get three points because the game was very tough. We always do better in away matches and I’m happy Okello came to our rescue,” Tusker FC head coach Paul Nkata said after the match.
“The next game against AFC Leopards, we will play with all our hearts to ease pressure as we head to the final match against Gor,” he Ugandan coach added.
His opposite number Salim Babu was content with the results as he remained positive of clinching the top 8 slot.
“We lost but we played well. We played according to our plan but didn’t get the goals. Asembeka (Amos) has been scoring all the penalties but it was not her day today. It’s the way of football and penalties are nobody’s game. Tusker deserved to win.”
In a balanced opening half, Sony could have taken an early lead after just 30 seconds from kick-off but Amos Asembeka squandered a penalty that saw Tusker custodian David Okello clear out with his right leg.
This is after Shaffik Batambuze elbowed Masud Juma in the box to see the Ugandan receive the yellow card from referee Moses Osano.
Wafula was a thorn in Sony’s flesh with the end to end action seeing the former AFC Leopards winger utilize his speed to force Sony keeper Kennedy Obwanda parry over the danger for a fruitless corner.
Tusker was at it again, this time Allan Wanga coming close when he saw his free header go wide in the 17th minute after Masud fluffed an open chance when he missed to tap home a Marwa Chamberi cross from the right.
Sony were not off the hook yet as Clifford Alwanga, who was reinstated to the starting lineup hitting the woodwork before he drove in a long range shot a minute later, but this time the keeper was alert to calm the situation.
Tusker’s push upfront paid off finally after Sony lost possession in the midfield to see Robert Omunuk loft the ball to Wanga who flicked it back for Wafula to finish neatly for the opener.
Returning for the last half, threatening Masud turned provider to set-up Jeremiah Wanjala who came on for Collins Kisuya, but the new blood missed the target by a whisker.
Tusker resorted to defend leaving Wanga striking alone. The strategy provided a platform for the hosts to surge forward seeking for the equalizer but David Okello stood tall to pull a superb save, parrying over Chamberi’s thunder bolt.
Tusker played safe to hold onto the lead and inch closer to reclaim the KPL title they last won in 2012 under the tutelage of Robert Matano.
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