NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 23 – Mungai Kiongera stepped off the bench to score at the stroke of full time as Wazito FC fought from a goal down to hold Tusker FC to a 1-1 draw and ease the pressure on league leaders Gor Mahia.
Tusker were on the verge of a 1-0 win to keep the pressure on the defending champions, but Kiongera brushed in Dennis Ngángá’s freekick with just a few minutes left on the clock to ensure the points were shared.
Gor Mahia were 3-2 winners over Zoo Kericho in a nervy match to keep their place on top of the standings with 48 points while Homeboyz moved to second after thrashing relegation battling Chemelil Sugar in Kakamega.
Homeboyz are now on 44 points while Tusker, who have a match at hand are on 42.
At the Kericho Green Stadium, skipper Kenneth Muguna set up Samuel Onyango for the winner at the stroke of full time as the defending champions pulled off a come-from-behind 3-2 win over home side Zoo.
Gor were staring at a possible drop of two points after Nicholas Kipkurui had scored against his former employers to draw the scores level at 2-2 in the 77th minute, but Muguna ensured the holders kept a comfortable distance on top of the standings.
Kepha Ondati had given the home side the lead in the 28th minute before Elvis Ronack drew KÓgalo level eight minutes after the restart.
Cavin Odongo gave Zoo the lead in the 67th minute, but they couldn’t hold on with Kipkurui equalizing while Onyango grabbed the winner.
Elsewhere at the Ruaraka Complex, Tusker FC moved back to second with victory over struggling Wazito, Chrispinus Onyango scoring the lone goal in the 59th minute.
On the balance of chances, Tusker should have gone to the break tails up as they had a chance cleared off the line and another come banging against the upright.
Brian Marita’s effort in the 12th minute when he raced onto a Rodgers Aloro cross crushed against the upright with the Wazito defense caught flat footed while keeper Kevin Omondi couldn’t get a finger on the ball at full stretch.
Just before that, Erick Ambunya had a shot from the edge of the box go wide with acres of space and time ahead of him.
In the 21st minute, Johnstone Omurwa came to Wazito’s effort when he threw a foot to clear the ball off the line after keeper Omondi’s feet had taken the sting off a thunderous shot from Chris Ochieng’s effort, the latter having run behind the defense from the left.
The burly ex Mathare United forward had another chance when he picked up a loose ball at the edge of the box, but his shot went inches wide between a forest of defensive legs.
Wazito were fighting for possession, but couldn’t get much out their attacking threat. The closest they came was eight minutes to the break when Whyvonne Isuza’s header off a Musa Masika cross flew over the bar.
In the second half, Tusker sought to finish the job early and they did so 14 minutes after the restart, Onyango, a mid season signing from KCB guiding the ball home after the defense struggled to clear a freekick from Aloro.
Golden boot chasing Timothy Otieno should have doubled the tally with 12 minutes left but his shot from inside the box hit the bar with George Odhiambo hitting the rebound over with a gaping goalmouth.
On the opposite end, Mungai Kiongera came close but his shot after breaking from the right was cleared by the double sliding Eugene Asike and Sammy Mejja.
Wazito continued to pile the pressure and they finally earned their reward at the stroke of 90 minutes when Kiongera scored the equalizer.
The forward brushed in a header after he was initially fouled by Mejja who was shown his marching orders having received a second yellow card.
Ng’ang’a took the inswinging freekick with Kiongera limping highest to head home the ball past a dazed Robert Mboya.