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Ten-man Mathare blank Chemelil at Kasarani

Mathare United striker Clifford Alwanga progresses through on goal during their Kenyan Premier League opening match of the 2018/2019 season against Chemelil Sugar at the Kasarani Stadium on December 8, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – Mathare United kicked off their 2018/2019 Kenyan Premier League campaign on a high beating Chemelil Sugar 2-0 at the Moi Sports Centre Kasarani on Saturday afternoon.

First half goals from Cliff Nyakeya and Clifford Alwanga saw the Slum Boys take victory on their first match of the season despite being reduced to 10 men late pn when keeper Job Ochieng was sent off.

Playing at home, Mathare had a superb start to the match getting into the lead just four minutes in, Cliff Nyakeya opening his account for the new season with a second bite of the cherry.

The speedy winger had won a penalty after being brought down by keeper Bernard Onunga. He stepped up to take the spot kick but it was saved. However, he was quickest to the rebound puncing and slotting home.

In the seventh minute, Daniel Mwaura should have sent Mathare 2-0 up when a defensive error from the new look Chemelil side gifted him of the ball with only the keeper to beat but he somehow shot over the bar.

Nonetheless, the Slum Boys were 2-0 up after 13 minutes when Clifford Alwanga thundered home a header from the back post after rising to meet Kevin Kimani’s corner from the right.

The home side continued to dominate as Chemelil struggled to keep pace and in the 17th had another glorious chance when Nyakeya broke into the box to face the keeper one on one but somehow as well could not hit the ball on target as he sent it flying high.

A minute on the turn, Chemelil had their first effort at goal when Philip Mwangale rifled in a volley from range, but it flew straight to Job Ochieng’s arms.

The sugar millers began to build some confidence, spreading the ball across the width of goal but could not still manage to have a crack at goal.

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In the 23rd minute, they came inches close when George Mutimba was teed up at the edge of the box but his curling effort went inches over the bar.

Mathare thought they had gone three up after 27 minutes when Johnstone Omurwa swept home from the edge of the six yard area after a routine training ground corner, but the first assistant’s flag was up for offside.

Ten minutes later, Mwaura was presented with another glorious opportunity when Roy Okal’s well diced cross from the right found him rushing to the backpost, but his effort at a bouncing header was awkward, the ball rolling out.

After the break, Mathare should have buried the game early with decent chances falling their way.

Two minutes in, Mwaura delivered a decent low cross into the box from the right with Nyakeya arriving to flick it home but the keeper made a superb reflex save to turn the ball behind for a corner.

From the set-piece, Mathare had another chance when a miscued kick off the ball from Alwanga found skipper Oduor at the backpost but his tap at goal came off the upright and the ball ricocheted off his feet for a goalkick.

In the 49th minute, Alwanga was sent through on goal by Nyakeya, but his shot with only the keeper to beat went inches wide.

Alwanga had another chance at goal in the 70th minute but his glancing header off a Kimani cross was saved by keeper Onunga for a corner.

Mathare were reduced to 10 men 12 minutes to time when keeper Ochieng was shown a straight red card for a high boot tackle on Lucas Waitere outside the box.

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Mathare was forced to sacrifice striker Alwanga for second choice keeper David Okello and from the resultant setpiece by Chemelil, Vincent Mahiga curled the ball just over.

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