MACHAKOS, Kenya, Mar 11- Chemelil Sugar came from a goal down to soak a cash-strapped Nakumatt FC in a four-goal mud-bath, striker Philip Muchuma scoring thrice one of which came off the penalty spot in a 4-1 win.
Nakumatt who are unstable financially with their sponsors struggling to get back on their feet came into the game having trained only once this week, and the lack of fitness was telling especially in the second half when they couldn’t even keep possession.
The victory Chemelil’s third of the season took them to 11 points and now sit second on the table, only separated from third placed Mathare United by goal difference. Nakumatt with only one win this season remain 13th.
On the balance of play and chances, Chemelil were the better side in the opening half, creating the most of chances.
Nakumatt though were the first to have a chance at goal with Brian Nyakan’s shot from the right after some good counter attacking play was saved by keeper John Waw.
On the opposite end, Faina Jacobs made a brilliant block at the edge of the six yard box to deny Philip Muchuma who had broken through into the box after some shaky defense from Nakumatt.
After some balanced play, Nakumatt finally broke the deadlock after 20 minutes, with a simple tap in from close range, benefiting from a Cornelius Juma cross on the right.
Seven minutes later, Nakumatt should have been two up but Chemelil shot stopper Waw produced s superb full stretched save to parry away a well curled in freekick from Noah Abich.
When they seemed to have finally landed some grip on the game, Nakumatt found themselves deflated when Muchuma powered past Abich and Donald Mosoti at the edge of the box, powered in and rounded keeper Frankline Mwenda before slotting into an empty net.
It seemed to be the catalyst Chemelil needed to get their hold on the tempo of the game. But when they poured bodies upfront, Nakumatt almost got them on the break when Nyakan broke away on the left but his eventual shot was saved.
The Sugar belt side though kept themselves on their feet and Muchuma should have added a second for himself and the team but his low shot from a Jacob Mwamlangara pass was saved by the keeper.
Chemelil should have punished another defensive blip from Nakumatt two minutes to the break when Faina lost a simple ball as the last man in defense, but he was lucky when Peter Amani’s curling effort evaded the target by inches.
At the start of the second half Chemelil made changes, Amani coming off for Stephen Njoroge.
Just nine minutes in, they got into the lead when another defensive blunder saw them lose the ball inside the box, Mwamlangara picking up, skipping past the keeper who brought him down, but Muchuma was well positioned to bang the ball into the roof of the net.
They stretched the game beyond Nakumatt three minutes later when Abich deflected a Collins Neto cross into his own net.
Anthony Mwangi, the Nakumatt FC coach was forced into a tactical change Boniface Mukhekhe making way for Jack Bruno.
The former AFC Leopards youngster had an almost immediate impact when he forced keeper Waw to backpedal and tip his deep curling effort from the right behind for a corner.
Muchuma then made it 2-1 with 20 minutes left to play when he slotted home from the penalty spot after Mwamlangara was brought down by Abich in a frantic run inside the box.