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Zoo Kericho\s Alex Onchwari protects the ball away from KCB's Simon Abuko during their BetKing Premier League match at the Utalii Complex on March 21, 2021. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Football

Zoo peg back KCB at Utalii to allow Tusker breathing space at the top

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 21 – Second placed KCB failed to take advantage of BetKing Premier League leaders Tusker FC’s draw against City Stars on Saturday as they were held to a 1-1 draw by bottom of the table Zoo Kericho at the Utalii Sports Club on Sunday.

The bankers would have reduced the gap between them and leaders Tusker to four points, but the point sees the status quo before match day 16 retained, Tusker enjoying a six point buffer at the top.

Zoo had the brighter of starts and had the best chances in the opening minutes. In the second minute, Collins Neto had a glorious opportunity to break the deadlock when he was picked out by a Mathew Tayo cross from the right.

He did well to control the ball but completely miscued his volley with only the keeper at his mercy.

He had another chance in the sixth minute when he slid in to connect to a cross from Castro Likhanga, his first effort blocked by the defense while his second was saved by keeper Gabriel Andika.

KCb had their first real go at goal in the 14th minute when David Owino curled in a freekick from the right, but it rolled wide off target at the backpost.

The bankers were gradually growing into the game and were a threat. Simon Abuko had a chance when he broke into the box from the right, but he went for goal from a tight angle with waiting legs at the edge of the six yard box.

They had another good opportunity when Reagan Otieno floated a good cross from the left, but Henry Onyango’s connecting header went wide. Derrick Otanga had another effort with a header off Samwel Mwangi’s cross but it also went wide.

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Zoo were forced to make a change late in the half, Neto coming off injured and was replaced by Danson Kiprono.

In the second half, KCB came in playing on the offensive from the word go and were rewarded just five minutes after the restart when Otanga tapped home from inside the box after a goalmouth melee.

But, Zoo responded with offensive tact and they found themselves on level terms in the 62nd minute when Likhanga headed home from a well curled Kepha Ondati cross from the left.

The goal gave the visitors motivation and they were more adventurous going upfront. Kiprono came close with a chance after 70 minutes when he struck a curling shot from the edge of the area but it went just over.

In the final quarter hour of the game, KCB upped the tempo and pushed Zoo into their own half. Substitute Victor Omondi should have struck KCB into the lead when he was picked out off a Baraka Badi cross from the right but his connection was poor.

KCB piled in the pressure, Zoo defending with their lives to ensure they picked a point on the road.

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