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Sharks bite off Wazito to pile relegation fears

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Kariobangi Sharks players celebrate one of their two goals against Wazito during a Kenyan Premier League clash in Machakos on September 26, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

MACHAKOS, Kenya, Sep 26 – Harrison Mwendwa scored an 89th minute winner as Kariobangi Sharks picked their sixth consecutive win across all competitions beating Wazito FC 2-1 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Wednesday to send them deeper into relegation.

Edwin Lavatsa had stepped off the bench to score a second half equalizer as Wazito FC looked to earn a crucial point, but a defensive error late on meant their hopes are dashed with only two matches remaining.

Wazito remained second from bottom with 28 points, four away from Chemelil Sugar who play bottom side Thika United on Thursday. If Chemelil win, then both Thika and Wazito will be officially relegated from the Kenyan Premier League.

Meanwhile, Vihiga United all but assured themselves of a place in next year’s top flight after beating champions-elect Gor Mahia 2-0 at the Mumias Complex to move to 11th in the standings with 37 points with two rounds of matches left.

If Thika loses to Chemelil on Thursday then they will be officially relegated from the top tier while the sugar belt side will hope to maintain a slot in the play-off 16th slot. Wazito now need to win both their remaining games to survive.

Wazito FC forward Derrick Onyango shields the ball away from Kariobangi Sharks defender Geoffrey Shiveka during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on September 26, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Wazito will now need Chemelil to lose both their matches, including Thursday evening’s against Thika and them to win their two remaining games to have any hope of surviving.

In their match against Sharks on Wednesday, Frank Ouna’s men did not show much of a side eager to remain in the top flight.

Sharks got into the lead after 24 minutes when Shaphan Oyugi headed down between Martin Musalia’s feet connecting to an inviting cross from Bolton Omwenga who had landed the ball after a poor Wazito clearance fell his way.

It seemed like a routine training session for Sharks who made no changes from their side that walloped Ulinzi Stars 4-0 in the FKF Shield semis on Sunday.

They had a chance to double their tally two minutes to half time when Golden Boot chasing Eric Kapaito did well to arrive first to the ball before keeper Musalia, but his touch away from the sliding goalkeeper was too heavy rolling out of play.

Kariobangi Sharks forward Duke Abuya attempts to dribble past Wazito FC skipper Oliver Kilonzo during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on September 26, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

In the second half, Ouma made changes, Piscas Kirenge coming on for Simon Mburu, but the new man did not last more than a minute as he went down, surprisingly, even without touching the ball.

He was replaced by John Katua.

Wazito were better offensively especially with the introduction of Edwin Lavatsa and they suddenly gave the Sharks backline plenty to think about.

Substitute Sidney Lokale should have eased the pressure off his mates on the hour mark when he was picked out by a well laid down cross from Duke Abuya, but his point blank effort was saved by Musalia.

Wazito brought themselves hope with quarter of an hour left when Lavatsa’s ferocious shot from a short start to a corner found keeper Gad Mathews off guard rifling into the roof of the net.

Despite increased bid to land a winner, Wazito were made to pay from their own mistakes, Jackson Saleh’s attempted clearance cut out and Mwendwa lifting the ball simply over an advancing Martin Musalia.

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