Western Stima made a triumphant comeback to the top tier league Sportpesa Premier League after edging out visitors Coast Stima 1-0 in a hard-fought National Super League (NSL) played at Moi Stadium Kisumu.
Stima were relegated last season after displaying a dismal performance.
It was a laborious return after the host several attempts to open the scoring sheets were thwarted by the opponent’s goalkeeper Benedict Meso.
But Mukhisa Junior 89th minute proved the difference as it fired Stima back to the top-tier.
A mixed of wasted opportunities and blunders saw the host throw away crucial goal scoring chances.
The hosts started the match on a low key as they were pinned by the visitors around their goal area in the first 15 minutes of the game.
Against the expectations of many Stima fans who had thronged the stadium to watch their side making a return.
The host, however, managed to break the jinx on the 35th minute through Johanna Mwita header but it was repulsed by the visitor’s goalkeeper Meso Benedict. The ball went wide.
It was another brilliant chance for the host in the 38th minute when John Oruko pass was loosely taken by Frederick Nyarombo but his shot was not powerful enough to fire up Stima (Western) to the lead.
This what got coach Paul Ogai talking. “For us its a pleasant feeling, it’s been tough for us but positivity and teamwork among players helped us back to the league”, elected Ogai.
Ogai bemoaned lots of challenges they faced in their journey back to the league. He said few changes in some departments were key to their success.
“ Moving forward we will have to do some adjustment in the attacking area and midfield”, he noted. In a bid to restore parity in the team, coach Paul Ogai brought Herbert Kopany in the 46th minute for Oruko.
Ogai later brought in Wesley Kemboi to replace Nyarombo while Coast Stima coach Kenneth Onukho went for Okoth Okumu for Davis Shikala.
“ A loss does not mean we played poorly, I must say we were somehow unlucky to win the match today”, said coach Onukho. After Nyakach, Eldoret Youth has Kitale Transfoc up next before taking on Trans Mara Sugar in the penultimate match. They then wrap up the season with a visit to St Joseph’s Youth where the trophy will be presented.