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Tusker hit Sharks at Ruaraka, Sofa retain top

Tusker FC players celebrate Boniface Muchiri’s goal during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka Complex on March 27, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 27 – In a deplorable Ruaraka pitch, Tusker FC picked up their first ever win over Kariobangi Sharks, hitting the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Shield champions 3-1 in a Kenyan Premier League clash on Wednesday.

At the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, Sofapaka retained their hold on top spot with an assured 3-1 win over 10-man Mount Kenya United moving to 36 points on top of the standings, one ahead of defending champions Gor Mahia who hit Zoo Kericho 4-0.

This was the fourth consecutive time that K’Ogalo was scoring four against Zoo.

Bandari dropped to third spot after losing 2-1 to Kakamega Homeboyz in Mombasa. Elsewhere, AFC Leopards’ resurgence was slowed down after being held to a 2-2 draw by Vihiga United  in Kakamega.

At Ruaraka, Tusker came into the match having failed to win any of their last five matches losing four times and drawing once while against Sharks, they had lost two and drawn the other two of their only four league meetings.

Tusker FC forward Timothy Otieno vies for the ball with Kariobangi Sharks defender Geoffrey Shiveka during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka Complex on March 27, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Timothy Otieno struck a first half brace with Boniface Muchiri adding the other as the brewers moved to fifth in the standings. Sharks’ consolation was scored by substitute Sidney Lokale with a second half penalty.

Sharks had to finish the match with 10 men after Michael Bodo was sent off with a second bookable offence in the 88th minute.

Tusker looked calm and in control and had the most chances of the opening half. Otieno broke the deadlock in the 18th minute when he raced into a through pass before shooting low into the net, the ball evading John Oyemba’s grasp.

The goal came just a minute after the brewers came close when Jackson Macharia sent Boniface Muchiri through with a defense splitting pass with the winger hitting his effort inches over the bar.

Tusker FC midfielder Sydney Ochieng vies for the ball with Kariobangi Sharks defender Nixon Omondi during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka Complex on March 27, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Sharks were made to change plans on the half hour mark when dependable winger Harrison Mwendwa had to be stretchered out after being cluttered down by Sidney Ochieng and in his place came Sidney Lokale.

Just three minutes later, Sharks saw their woes deepened when Otieno completed his brace stretching hist foot to tap home a cross from Muchiri unmarked at the back post.

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Six minutes to the break the home side came close to going 3-0 up but Oyemba made a finger tip save to deny Sidney’s effort with a freekick from 30 yards out.

All this while, Sharks had struggled to create any meaningful chances and their usual free-flowing passing game forced off color by the bumpy and uneven Ruaraka pitch.

Tusker FC midfielder Clyde Senaji wins the ball ahead of Kariobangi Sharks midfielder Duke Abuya during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka Complex on March 27, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Their fate was sealed though 13 minutes into the second half when Muchiri made it 3-0with a bouncing header off Kevin Omondi’s cross with the latter having just come on as a sub.

Despite registering an assist in the game, Omondi, nicknamed ‘Ade’ lasted just 15 minutes in the game as he was hauled off again by Matano for lazing around the pitch, his place taken by Peter Nzuki.

Sharks got their consolation in the 73rd minute when Lokale converted from the spot after Eric Ambunya handled Eric Kapaito’s shot inside the box.

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