KERICHO, Kenya, Apr 2- Piston Mutamba’s first half brace was all 10-man Wazito FC needed for their third Kenyan Premier League victory of the season as they saw off Zoo Kericho 2-0 at the Kericho County Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Frank Ouna’s men picked up their second win in a row as they moved to 10th on the log with 11 points after eight games while Zoo remained held at the bottom of the standings with a meager four points.
Wazito were fortunate to hold on to the win having been reduced to 10 men in the 73rd minute when defender Emmanuel Tienan was sent off for a second bookable offense, his second yellow being totally avoidable having simulated an injury.
Zoo would feel undone by the result especially at the end of the first half, having commandeered the game’s flow very well until they capitulated in the final 10 minutes of the half.
Mutamba scored the first of his two with a well timed header, jumping higher than two Zoo Kericho defenders and an onrushing Martin Elung’at from between the sticks from a Harun Nyakha freekick, the ball landing sweetly into an empty net.
Just four minutes later, the lanky forward completed his brace with his fourth goal of the season, sending Elung’at the wrong way from the penalty spot after he had been tripped inside the box by defender Geoffrey Gichana inside the box.
Prior to that, the hosts had threatened on several occasions, but failed to use their chances well. In the second minute, Isaac Kipyegon’s shot from the left veered off target while his delivery minutes later failed to land a target inside the box.
Mutamba showed what should be expected of him with a low strike from range on the right after a sweeping counter attacking move, but the ball slid inches wide off the mark.
Zoo should have opened the scoring on the half hour mark when danger-man Nicholas Kipkurui broke into the box from the left, but Wazito keeper Philip Odhiambo spread his body nicely on the ground to block the effort for a corner.
On the other end, Elung’at was forced into a great reflex save when he adjusted his body nicely to tip the ball over after his defender Johnston Ligare deflected a Wazito cross from the right.
But seven minutes before half-time, Zoo’s cookie crumbled with Mutamba’s double.
In the second half, the hosts picked up their pieces and came more resolute to search for the two goals and a probable winner. They came close five minutes into the half when Kipyegon’s well curled low freekick from the edge of the box went inches wide.
Three minutes later, Kipyegon floated an inviting cross from the left but substitute Derrick Anami’s glancing header unmarked inside the box went wide.
In the 70th minute, Kipkurui should have done better when the ball fell kindly on his path inside the box but his shot went straight to Wazito keeper Odhiambo’s waiting arms.
Zoo dumped more balls upfront with the hope of using their numerical advantage after Tienan’s sending off, but Wazito never yielded. They had reinforced their defensive shield with Marvin Onyango coming on for George Owiti while Mark Odhiambo came on for Luis Tumba.