NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21- Teenage goalkeeper Job Ochieng’s howler two minutes from time saw Wazito FC stun league leaders Mathare United 1-0 in a Kenyan Premier League match played at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on Saturday.
The keeper, who started the tie ahead of the injured Robert Mboya let an otherwise harmless looking freekick from Piston Mutamba slip under his fingers when it looked like the game was headed for a barren draw.
It was not a good day in office for Mathare United with their head coach Francis Kimanzi being sent off 15 minutes to time.
Kimanzi was remonstrating with the referee after he waved play on on a penalty appeal after winger Cliff Nyakeya was hacked inside the box while on the opposite end he gave Wazito what looked like an easy foul.
It was the midrib of what was a frustrating afternoon for the early log leaders as they failed to break down a Wazito side that had done their homework well tactically to neutralize Mathare.
The Mathare loss was a welcome result for defending champions Gor Mahia who will take over the summit on Sunday with maximum points against Thika United.
The Slum Boys started the tie well and had their first chance within the first two minutes when Cliff Nyakeya broke through on the right but his eventual shot at goal was parried behind by Philip Odhiambo for a corner.
Wazito were playing behind the ball with head coach Frank Ouna deploying mark Odhiambo in defensive midfield, the burly centre-back doing well to cut out most of the balls played through the middle.
Mathare had a brilliant chance in the 23rd minute when Edward Seda sent Chris Oduor through on goal, but keeper Odhiambo pulled a brilliant save one on one with the Mathare man who had tried to shoot into the bottom right.
The game’s pace grew in the second half and seven minutes in, Nyakeya was presented with another great chance when he was picked out inside the box with a sweetly weighted ball from David Owino but once again, Odhiambo thwarted him one on one.
Two minutes on the turn, Wazito had a chance off a fast break when Joe Waithira changed passes with Mutamba, but Waqithira’s decision to take the shot proved the wrong one when Mutamba was calling for the ball in a better shooting position.
Waithira was presented with the ball again three minutes later, this time Harun Nyakha releasing him wide on the right but his low cross was too strong for Mutamba who was throwing himself inside the box.
Mathare’s day went down south with influential skipper George ‘Wise’ Owino limping off injured on the hour mark, going off for the first time in three seasons. He was replaced by Lennox Ogutu.
Mathare continued on their upward trajectory as they looked to get the opening goal that would calm their nerves and they almost had one when Seda’s effort on the overhead kick went just wide off a Samuel Ndung’u cross.
The Slum Boys had solid penalty shouts turned down by the referee when Nyakeya was hacked inside the box after turning defender Luis Tumba inside out. Coach Kimanzi was incensed on the touchline and kept the rant on when on the turn of play, Wazito were handed a soft freekick.
His rants attracted the fury of the referee who pointed him out of the pitch.
The slight moment of disruption seemed to have given Wazito some new lease of life and a goalmouth melee in the 70th minute almost saw Ouna’s charges go one up with Tumba’s shot from a goalmouth melee going over.
With the game seemingly headed for a barren draw, Wazito won a freekick from almost 40 yards out and Mutamba who has hit the back of the net four times already this season went for a direct shot.
Keeper Ochieng seemed to have had the ball safely in his palms but somehow, the ball greased through his hands and into the net.
Ouna’s charges held on for the final few minutes of the game for their fourth win of the season.