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Nairobi City Stars midfielder Antony Muki Kimani vies for the ball with Tusker FC’s Hashim Sempala. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Football

Tusker fight back to claw point off Nairobi City Stars

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 20 – BetKing Premier League leaders Tusker put up a second half fight to come from two goals down to draw 2-2 at the Utalii Complex on Saturday afternoon.

A fortunate Kevin Monyi goal and a Chris Onyango effort saw the brewers come from down to grab a point from a losing position after Antony Kimani had given City Stars a 2-0 lead.

The point pushes Tusker’s lead at the top to seven points off KCB who face off with bottom of the table side Zoo Kericho

By halftime, City Stars were leading the league leaders 2-0 courtesy of a brace from Kimani.

They had broken the deadlock after eight minutes when Kimani curled a freekick into the net past a dazed Emery Mvuyekure.

Tusker had conceded the third freekick in a dangerous position. Bolton Omwenga had curled the first beyond the wall but Emery picked, while his second went over the bar.

He stepped up for the third, with Kimani in tow and with the keeper plus his entire defense thinking it was the left back who would take it again, Kimani stepped up and hit an easy goal.

City Stars were off faster off the blocks and their swift running had created all sorts of problems for the Tusker backline and they were especially keen to exploit Christopher Oruchum’s lack of pace as well as his discomfort on the ball.

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But Tusker slowly grew into the game and began moving the ball better. They had a chance when Jackson Macharia set up Apollo Otieno at the edge of the box but his shot was over after quarter of an hour.

Tusker’s hopes of growing back into the game were thwarted in the 18th minute when Kimani completed his brace off a text book counter attack.

Oruchum lost the ball upfield as he pushed forward and Rodgers Okumu was played through on the right. The winger broke into the box before cutting back for Kimani to slam home beyond Emery.

Deflated, Tusker tried to give in a fight and were lucky not to be three down when Kimani’s well struck volley after being flicked on by Oliver Maloba was brushed behind for a corner.

Tusker had the chances, first Apollo’s strike from a freekick being well saved by Steve Njunge before Meja was denied by the keeper. Macharia had dispossessed Salim Abdallah at the edge of the box before playing Meja through, but the striker struck a tame shot at the keeper.

They had an even better chance at the stroke of halftime when Meja won the ball inside the box, but instead of going for goal decided to set up Macharia who was in a tight angle and his shot went over the bar.

Tusker came off the break with determination and it took them seven minutes into the second half to halve the deficit. A long clearance from Monyi deep in his own half found keeper Njunge off his line and the ball drifted into the net.

The goal gave Tusker motivation and in the 63rd minute they should have been 2-2 when Meja’s cross found Namanda at the back post but the latter’s shot whistled across the face of goal.

They kept the pressure and were rewarded in the 73rd minute when substitute Chris Onyango, barely two minutes into the pitch reacted fastest after keeper Njunge had blocked Meja’s shot to slump the ball into the net.

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Tusker kept the pressure, piled bodies upfront but couldn’t get the winner.

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