Promoted side hit three past much-fancied Batoto ba Mungu in top-flight action

Tuesday, May 25th, 2021 00:00 |
Alex Imbusia of Sofapaka (left) vies for the ball against Bolton Omwenga of Nairobi City Stars during their Betking Premier League match played at Ruaraka grounds yesterday. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Nairobi City Stars surprised many, not least themselves, yesterday when they pulled off an ‘insane’ 3-0 win over favourites Sofapaka in an ill-tempered Betking Premier League match at Utalii grounds.

Both teams were reduced to 10 men after Sofapaka’s Togolese custodian Aigba Moubarak earned himself a red card for bringing down a goal-bound Nicholas Kipkirui with Stars midfielder Sven Yidah going for an early shower for a second bookable offence with six minutes remaining on the clock.

Sofapaka would have had a face-saver had Lawrence Juma not crashed a penalty kick in the post in the 29th minute after Bolton Omwenga’s handball inside the box.

Stars scored one of the fastest goals of the season after Peter “Pinchez” Opiyo slotted in a penalty in the third minute following an infringement.

David Agesa would then make it two goals for the Kawangware-based side in the 15th minute after connecting a pass from Rodgers Okumu.

In the 37th minute, Abdallah Okumu hammered the third goal for Stars with an opportunistic strike.

Following the victory, Stars hauled themselves to 10th position in the standings, whereas Sofapaka remain in the 12th position.

An elated Stars Chief Executive Officer Patrick Korir hailed the team for a spirited performance against an experienced team in Sofapaka.

“This was a morale-boosting win but all I can say is that there is still a lot of work which needs to be done in our quest to end up in a respectable position in the league.

I urge the players to continue working hard to enable us achieve our objectives,’’ said Korir. 

Meanwhile, Bandari FC are unfazed despite losing by a considerable 3-0 margin to KCB on Sunday.

The team’s technical director Twahir Muhiddin said the defeat was a learning experience for the Dockers, adding that they have not given up yet their hopes to win the title.

“We took a lot of positives in the match. Obviously, the loss was difficult to take for us and we will try to muster a win in our next fixture,” said Muhiddin.

Asked what are the team’s plans this season, Muhiddin said that winning the title is their focus at the moment and reiterated that no one should write off any frontrunner regardless of the result.

“As you may have seen, there has been fluctuating fortunes by these teams which is why we should not lose hope just by merely losing to KCB.

This is football and who knows? Bandari may pick up their pieces and challenge for the title,” said Muhiddin whose team sits at the fifth position in the chart with 25 points, behind Kariobangi Sharks (31), AFC Leopards (31), Tusker (35) and KCB (36).

For KCB, it was a successful weekend which saw them reclaim the league lead after a lengthy time.

The Bankers, coached by Zedekiah Otieno, played with a sense of purpose, scoring through Harun Thomas, David Simiyu and Derrick Otanga to take the driving seat of the top tier league once more.

In other matches, the stuttering performance of Mathare United continued after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Nzoia Sugar as Kakamega Homeboyz posted the highest winning margin in a 4-0 whacking of Western Stima.

As all this transpired, Tusker’s title hopes received yet another jolt after they were forced to a 0-0 draw by Wazito.

In the meantime, despite acute financial challenges, Gor were left purring after securing a 3-0 defeat over Congo Boys to cruise into the FKF Betway Cup Round of 32.

More on Sports