NAIROBI, Kenya, May 6- Eugene Mukangula struck two minutes from time as Thika United picked a massive result beating Wazito FC 1-0 at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on Sunday afternoon to ease their relegation fears barely five days after their head coach Nicholas Muyoti resigned.
Goalkeeper trainer Joseph Rutto picked up on interim basis and he inspired the side as they won only their second match this season.
The first half was devoid of chances as the two teams sized each other in midfield. Wazito came close to opening the scoring in the 14th minute, but Thika’s Collins Okumu made a superb goal-line clearance to thwart Piston Mutamba’s effort after the lanky forward had lifted the ball over the keeper.
Three minutes later, Thika had their first chance when Dennis Odhiambo’s long ball landed behind the defense, but a chasing Eugene Mukangula had a weak connection with the keeper off his line to easily pick the ball.
Two minutes later the visitors tried the same move to plant the ball behind the defense but Hansel Ochieng’s control inside the box from a Michael Mutinda pass was poor, the keeper coming off to pick the ball.
Emmanuel Tienan had a great chance with 10 minutes left before halftime when Kennedy Ayacko’s freekick from the right landed on his path unmarked at the edge of the six yard box but his header was wid.
Five minutes to the break the hosts thought they should have had a stone wall penalty after Mutamba was hacked into the box but the ref waved play on much to the chagrin of the players and technical bench officials.
The pace picked up an inch in the second half and six minutes in but Samson Ndegwa saw his shot from the right one on one with the keeper saved and from the resultant corner, Mutamba headed wide.
The hosts had another great opportunity with a free kick in the 57th minute from a good goal scoring range but Mutamba’s curling effort was fisted away by keeper Eliud Emase.
On the other Thika had a chance from similar circumstances and Mukangula’s effort evaded the target by a few inches with keeper Peter Odhiambo left rooted to his spot.
Wazito continued pressuring for a goal and they almost got it in the 65th minute when Marvin Onyango’s shot from range deflected off Dennis Odhiambo, but the ball came against the crossbar with the keeper beaten.
Thika were soaking in the pressure and they had an opportunity 15 minutes from time when Shami Kibwana’s shot from range attracted a full stretched save from Odhiambo.
They picked the all important goal in the 88th minute when Mukangula headed home from Shami Kibwana’s cross after his initial effort was saved by the keeper.