NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 05 – Jackson Macharia stepped off the bench to score a late winner as Tusker FC stretched their lead on top of the FKF Premier League standings with a 1-0 victory over Wazito FC at Kasarani on Friday.
The game looked headed for a draw with both sides having equalled each other in offense and defense, but a mix up in the Wazito backline earned Tusker the three vital points, ending the former’s five-match unbeaten run.
The victory lifted Tusker to 26 points, four ahead of second placed KCB who face Vihiga United at the same venue on Saturday.
“I really feel pleased to have come off the bench to score the winner for the team. It was a very tough match and anyone would have had it. These are three very important points but we put them behind and focus on the next game,” said match winner Macharia, speaking after the game.
It was a tight game between the two sides, though Tusker stepped up in the second half.
The visitors had the first go at goal with Musa Masika trying one from range, but keeper Emery Mvuyekure had his body behind the ball to gather clean. On the other end, skipper Hashim Sempala forced Wazito keeper Levis Opoyo to a smart save from a rasping freekick.
The downside for Tusker’s opening half was three minutes to the break when they had to pull oit dependable defender Eugene Asike after he injured his groin, bringing in Vincent Ngesa for his maiden appearance of the season.
Asike has been a pillar in Tusker’s defense this season and has played every single match of the campaign until he went off injured.
In the second half Tusker came in an improved side with a changed strategy and piled the pressure with their top scorer Henry Meja coming close in two different occasions.
He had a chance eight minutes after the restart when he drew the keeper off his line drifting in from the right, but his final effort went wide. His second effort from a shot on the right came off the upright.
Coach Robert Matano then made a triple substitution, Humphrey Mieno, Macharia and George Odhiambo coming on for Boniface Muchiri, Apollo Otieno and Chris Onyango. Later, Edward Zakayo also came in for Luke Namanda.
The brewers continued with the pressure and it bore fruit in the last minute of the game.
A flick from Meja caused a clash between Bernard Ochieng and Dennis Sikhayi in the Wazito backline and Macharia raced through before slapping the ball beyond Levis Opiyo.