James Magayi @magayijim
Veteran defender Donald Mosoti scored twice from the spot but the sinking feeling of Nakumatt still loomed as 2008 champions Mathare United won the end-to-end Kenyan Premier League (KPL) tie 3-2 at Ruaraka yesterday.
Elsewhere in Nakuru, Vihiga United reached yet another milestone when they defied great odds to win their first top-flight match, a 1-0 victory over Ulinzi Stars at Afraha Stadium.
Chris Masinza pounced on Charles Okwemba’s cross to score the sole goal in the 86th minute. Posta Rangers also made it two wins in a row as they dismissed visiting Kakamega Homeboyz 2-0 at Camp Toyoyo.
It was, however, Mathare’s victory over Nakumatt, which bore the greatest significance as they leapfrogged Gor Mahia into top spot albeit by one point. Red-hot Cliff Nyakeya opened scores early in the game with his goal of the season to put Mathare in drivers’ seat after just two minutes of duel.
The Gor Youth alumnus perfectly connected Martin Ongori’s cross with a sweet volley that flew into the top right corner.
Donning ribbons to grieve their financial plight, Nakumatt fought back gallantly and restored parity 20 minutes after going down when Mosoti sent Robert Mboya the wrong way from the spot.
David Owino upended Brian Nyakan as the brightest Nakumatt player lined up a shot causing the penalty. Nakumatt were lucky to be at par during the breather as Mathare fluffed several opportunities to reclaim their lead.
The score line quickly changed as Chrispin Oduor put Mathare back in the lead from the spot three minutes into the second half. Skipper George Owino was casually brought down in the box by Jacobs Faina to prevent him from meeting an oncoming cross and Oduor punished Nakumatt’s transgression.
Indefatigable Clifford Alwanga then registered his name on the score sheet with another peach of a finish in the 58th minute.
The former Tusker and KCB forward met Edward Seda’s cross with a half volley to give Mathare a two-goal buffer. Mathare then put down their guard and Nakumatt came close to reducing the deficits but Clinton Kisiavuki and Nyakan’s imperfections put paid to the efforts.
They did pull one back in the final minute of added time when Ongori’s high boot caught substitute Joseph Wanyonyi in the head and Nakumatt were awarded a second penalty.
Mosoti stepped up again and dispatched the ball to his right, just evading the keeper’s fingers for Nakumatt’s second. It was however, too late as the match soon ended in Mathare’s advantage.