NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 30- Cliff Nyakeya scored the solitary goal as Mathare United moved top of the Kenyan Premier League standings with a 1-0 win over Chemelil Sugar in Machakos on Friday, going to 17 points, one ahead of Gor Mahia who play Vihiga United on Saturday.
It was a well mastered performance from Francis Kimanzi’s charges as they picked their fifth win in eight matches and the first against the sugar millers since 2009.
Nyakeya was as exciting as always in the opening exchanges and he had his first effort at goal inside the opening 15 minutes but he couldn’t get the ball on target from a Crispin Oduor cross.
The youngster turned provider minutes later when he squeezed a through ball to Clifford Alwanga, but the veteran’s forward sprint was not faster than Chemelil keeper John Waw who swiftly bolted off his area to avert the danger.
All this while, Chemelil Sugar had sat back to soak in the pressure from the hosts and when they had their first go at goal, it was on target.
Enterprising winger Ben Mwamlangara found himself in a good shooting position after an exchange of passes with Maxwell Onyango, but his shot was well collected by Robert Mboya in the Mathare goal.
Mathare took back the mantle after surviving the little scare and they came close but Nyakeya could not get a shot on target with a set up from Alwanga, the defense bundling the ball off his feet. The spills fell on Alwanga but his cross was cleared to safety by Benjamin Oketch.
John Mwangi almost brought Mathare into the lead with a shot from a tight angle with keeper John Waw beaten, but the ball fell on the sidenetting.
Mathare’s dominance paid off when Nyakeya sneaked in between the two Chemelil central defenders to hit the ball into the net from a well diced Martin Ongori cross.
The sugar millers came back in the second half breathing revenge, spurred on by memories of a good outing the last time they were in Machakos where they beat Wazito 4-1.
Wesonga came close when his marauding run on the right wing booked him some shooting space, but keeper Mboya was equal to the task to palm the effort away.
Chemelil pushed Mathare into their own half but were let down by a combination of some poor finishing and astute defending from Francis Kimanzi’s men.
Nyakeya should have calmed nerves in the dying minutes of the match but his effort after being sent through by Oduor was saved by Waw.