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St. Joseph dampen Ushuru promotion hopes

Ushuru FC winger Alex Sunga takes on a St. Joseph Youth defender in a National Super League match at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on Friday September 28, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 28 – Ushuru FC’s hopes of pushing for promotion to the Kenyan Premier League were dashed on Friday after being held to a 1-1 draw by St. Joseph Youth FC in a National Super League clash at the Camp Toyoyo Ground.

Kevin Taabu’s second half header cancelled out Bill Oporia’s early goal as St. Josephs’ clawed back a point against the promotion chasing taxmen, putting them in an uncertain position as far as promotion is concerned.

Ken Kenyatta’s men will live to rue their missed chances especially in the first half and they remain fourth in the standings with 62 points, one behind third placed Nairobi Stima who play Administration Police at the same venue on Saturday morning.

Ushuru, seeking a return to top flight football after two years in the National Super League had a brilliant start with Bill Oporia getting them into the lead in the second minute with a thumping shot inside the box after Ravel Maxwell’s header had been blocked.

It was a relief for Oporia, the goal coming just seconds after he had missed a sitter when Anthony Ndolo’s defense splitting pass from midfield put him through with only the keeper to beat but he placed his shot inches wide.

Ushuru continued dominating possession, looking to seal the game early enough and they should have gone ahead after eight minutes when another thunderous shot by Oporia came up against the crossbar after some lazy defense from St. Josephs.

The most of chances were falling on Oporia and he had another opportunity in the 21st minute when former Ulinzi Juniors striker Alex Sunga put the forward through on goal but once against S. Josephs keeper Martin Lule made a full stretch save.

Ushuru FC’s Antony Ekaliani Ndolo shields the ball away from a St. Joseph player during a national Super League tie at Camp Toyoyo. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

As the game wore on, St. Josephs slowly crept into the game and the forward line led by former Harambee Stars striker Moses Arita began seeing more of the ball.

Three minutes to the break, the Nakuru based side had a brilliant chance when a free-kick was poorly defended and the ball landed on Peter Thiong’o but his powerful shot from the left was finger-tipped over the bar by Ushuru keeper Isaiah Wakasala.

In the second half, the visitors came in with more vigour and within the opening 10 minutes, they had brilliant opportunities to restore parity.

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Adam Said’s cross from the right was missed by a whisker by Arita five minutes in and three minutes later, Said had a goal disallowed for offside.

The winger was at the heart of the equalizer in the 62nd minute when his well floated corner from the right was dipped in by Taabu’s header past a dazed Wakasala.

In winning the corner, Taabu had forced the custodian to work beyond his effort springing up well to the rigt to tip over his well stung free-kick.

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