City Stars move to second after win over NSL pace-setters
Barry Silah and Gibo Zachary
Nairobi City Stars brought to an end Bidco United’s perfect start in the National Super League following a 1-0 win at Thika Stadium yesterday.
Bidco and Nairobi Stima had been the only teams to win three straight matches in the 2019/20 NSL season going into yesterday’s clash and needed victory to extend their perfect record but City Stars had other ideas.
High-flying Gambian attacker Ebrimah Sanneh scored the lone goal, his fourth in what has been a solid start for the slum boys under Bosnian tactician Sanjin Alagic, to see his side move to second on the 20-team log with 10 points.
The goal, which was netted in open play during a fast break in the 20th minute, saw teenage sensation Vincent Otieno pick a ball deep, run past the opposing defenders before crossing for Sanneh for a simple tap-in.
Anthony Akhulia’s Bidco seemed out of sorts as their game plan of quick breaks failed to trouble the more organised City Stars.
Meanwhile, Nairobi Stima also failed to take advantage of Bidco’s loss after a barren draw with Ushuru also left them with 10 points.
A cautious approach from both sides left a lot to be desired with the taxmen, under James Omondi, crowding the midfield and using wing-backs for attacks while Leonard Odipo’s outfit played more open later with little success.
“On the balance of play, a draw is a fair result. We both created chances but failed to convert,” said Odipo.
Elsewhere, former premiership sides Mt Kenya United and Vihiga United are now on eight points after a 1-1 draw with Kenya Police and 3-1 victory over newcomers Murang’a Seal respectively.
Debutants Vihiga Bullets beat Modern Coast 1-0 as Kibera Black Stars also lost by the same margin to Administration Police.
At Gusii Stadium, hosts Shabana earned three free points and a 2-0 win after their opponents St Joseph’s failed to turn up.
The match was scheduled to take place at 3pm but did not start after St Joseph’s failed to turn up 30 minutes after kick off time, handing Shabana a walkover.
“We are very disappointed. We paid to come and watch our boys make us proud only to be told that St Joseph’s are not coming. Whatever the reasons, we want teams to honour matches,” said Widen Mokaya, a Shabana fan.