NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 18- Tusker FC head coach George Nsimbe sat out for the second consecutive game as the brewers hit Nakumatt FC 1-0 at the Ruaraka Complex on Wednesday evening to move third in the Kenyan Premier League standings.
The coach has been asked by the club’s management to step aside on the wake of his comments about his players last week, alluding that he would be making changes on grounds that half of the team is aged.
“The coach has not been suspended nor has he been sacked. It is natural that the players reacted that way after those comments. There was some uneasiness in the squad and after sitting down, we made a decision that he steps aside for the time being,” Tusker FC chair Dan Aduda told Capital Sport.
He added; “We will sit down with the two parties and try to bring them together and once we bridge the difference, then the coach will be back on the bench.”
Assistant coach Francis Baraza and Youth team head coach Leonard Odipo sat on the bench in the match against Nakumatt.
Aduda has however not confirmed nor denied that the coach’s future is on the rocks.
“We will sit down at the end of the season and review the coach’s performance just like we will do to all the players and then make a decision based on that. As per now, he is still part of the team,” he further added.
Tusker though will keep their push till the end of the season with the hope of a top two finish with Gor Mahia already running away with the title.
Substitute Boniface Muchiri stepped off the bench to score a sweet volley in the second half, sending the brewers to third.
It was a pedestrian-paced much with only two shots on target – both for Tusker registered in the entire opening 45 minutes.
Tusker winger Noah Wafula had the first effort in the sixth minute from the right when he was picked out by a Humphrey Mieno cross but his effort was blocked by Nakumatt keeper Ezekiel Owade.
Tusker were forced into an early sub with midfielder Jackson Macharia limping off injured after a awkward fall and was replaced by Cersidy Lumumba who has been making a slow return from injury.
The brewers had the most efforts at goal dominating the forward play and Mieno had several chances to change the score-line. In the 26th minute, he curled a freekick beyond the ball but the effort was punched away by Nakumatt keeper Owade.
Three minutes later, Mieno missed a header from close range after racing on to a decent delivery of a freekick from Eugene Asike. Again, Mieno had a chance with a header from a Danson Kago cross but the effort went wide.
Nakumatt struggled to create chances at goal with striker Kepha Aswani, seeking his 13th goal of the season being hugely isolated upfront. His frustration was visible as he worked hard to get that goal that would put him above the rest of the pack.
Time and again he threw his hands up in the air when he didn’t get the service required, more so on the half hour mark when Joshua Oyoo failed to tee him up at the edge of the box after controlling a deep cross from Peter Nzuki.
Nzuki had an effort at goal with a speculative shot from distance which flew wide, Duncan Ochieng least troubled in the Tusker goal.
Not much changed in the second half either with minimal action infront of goal. Muchiri though brought the game to life in the 76th minute, rifling home a sweetly taken volley from 30 yards out after picking up a sublime pass from Brian Osumba.
Nakumatt dumped balls upfield looking to get the equalizer and the closest they came was with a David Tevelu shot from distance which was turned behind for a corner by Duncan Ochieng.
Muchiri had a chance for a double late on but he could not get contact on the ball a yard off goal when Allan Wanga did well to muscle out his markers on the right before delivering a decent cross.