MACHAKOS, Kenya, May 20- Goals in either half from Kevin Thairu and substitute Cornelius Juma saw a resurgent Nakumatt FC beat Tusker FC 2-1 on Sunday afternoon in Machakos to record their third win of the season and move off the bottom of the Kenyan Premier League standings.
Brian Osumba had equalized for the brewers but Juma stepped off the bench to score the winner on the hour mark as Robert Matano picked his second consecutive loss as Tusker head coach.
The brewers suffered a 2-1 home loss to Kariobangi Sharks last weekend and were looking to get back to winning ways and move into the top half of the table, but a spirited Nakumatt side was relentless fighting to the last drop of sweat.
It was a fast paced start to the game, each of the two sides eager to break the deadlock earliest possible. It was Tusker who had the first real opportunity of the game with Timothy Otieno’s shot from the near post being blocked by Lucas Indeche.
Minutes later, Ssempala had a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock when the ball was cut back to him from the right, but his final effort at curling the ball into the top right corner was futile as the ball went over.
Those two missed chances came to haunt them on the quarter hour mark when Nakumatt opened the scoring through Kevin Thairu.
The midfielder blasted the ball into David Okello’s right hand side after being set up by Moses Odhiambo following a sweeping counter attacking move from Nakumatt.
The goal injected some confidence into the Nakumatt side and they began to play with more fluidity and were more threatening.
Tusker had a chance to crawl back into the game in the 26th minute when Osumba chested down the ball for Timothy Otieno from a Boniface Muchiri cross, but under pressure, the forward blasted the ball over.
In the 26th minute, Nakumatt had a glorious opportunity to go two up from a Tusker mistake, but they failed. Marlon Tangauzi controlled the ball inside the box unaware of Boniface Mukhekhe behind him with the Nakumatt stealing the ball in a dangerous area.
However, he failed to punish the mistake shooting wide with only Okello to beat.
They were made to pay for that missed chance two minutes later when Osumba restored parity with a low shot inside the box after being picked out by a Muchiri pass across the park.
In the second half, Tusker boss Robert Matano began with changes, pulling out Mathew Tayo Odongo for Edwin Lavatsa, a change that meant he played with two strikers upfront, Lavatsa joining Otieno up the field.
Tusker should have gone ahead just two minutes after the restart from a counter attack.
Apollo Otieno was released by Muchiri at the edge of the box but the young midfielder took a pale shot that was an easy collection for Indeche.
That missed opportunity proved costly as on the hour mark, Nakumatt went ahead with a text-book counter attacking move.
Timonah Wanyonyi released Mukhekhe away on the right, the winger making a one time cross into the area that was slammed home by Cornelius Juma.