Football

Tusker show grit of a champion with sensational comeback over KCB

Kenyan Premier League leaders Tusker FC made a sensational comeback, coming from two goals down to draw 2-2 with KCB at the Thika Stadium on Sunday. The match pitting the league’s top two teams lived up to its billing, with a competitive show of attacking prowess.

Tusker found themselves trailing courtesy of two mistakes at the back, both punished by Derrick Otanga. But Humphrey Mieno came off the bench to change the color of the game, halving the deficit in the 74th inute before providing a sensational assist for Jackson Macharia’s equalizer six minutes from time.

“I am proud of the players because of the performance they showed. But we were punished because of our own silly mistakes. I told them that at this level we cannot afford to make such mistakes. But at least we have picked a point which is better than none,” said Tusker FC boss Robert Matano.

The result sees Tusker retain their four-point lead on top of the standings though KCB have a match in hand.

Tusker FC striker Henry Meja attempts to go past KCB’s Brian Ochieng

They were playing their second match against a fellow top four side having earlier on Thursday faced Gor Mahia and beaten them 2-1 at Ruaraka. Against KCB, they were angling for another three points that would have dragged them further away on top of the standings.

But they found themselves trailing 2-0 inside the first 25 minutes.

They broke the deadlock in the 17th minute when Faraj Ominde lost the ball in a dangerous area with Michael Oduor picking and slicing it back for Otanga who swept it home from close range.

Seven minutes later, the bankers were gifted the second goal when keeper Robert Mboya rolled the ball infront of Otanga’s feet, the forward saying thank you very much before picking the ball and dumping it into the bottom left corner.

Nothing was clearly working in Tusker’s favour and were doing many mistakes in possession. After 32 minutes coach Robert Matano sprung into an uncharacteristic early change, midfielder Ominde making way for Mieno.

Tusker FC striker Henry Meja is chased down by KCB’s Rama Mwenda

In the second half, the tide would swing fully into Tusker’s side as they controlled the tempo and forced KCB to play in their own half.

Tusker had two chances, first Sammy Meja’s freekick from range curling over the bar in the 53rd minute before Mieno had a volley go over the bar after Kevin Okoth had nodded down Boniface Muchiri’s cross from the left.

With time ticking and the tie looking to slip away from their hands, Matano made three changes at a go, Macharia, Eric Zakayo and Chris Onyango coming on for Brian Marita, Henry Meja and Kevin Okoth.

The three attacking changes added punch into Tusker’s play and just three minutes in, they halved the deficit. KCB keeper Joseph Okoth’s attempt to collect a cross from Macharia ended up in him spilling the ball.

Mieno took up the spills before volleying it into the net to take Tusker back into the game after 71 minutes. The goal gave the brewers hope of completing a comeback and going for a probable winner.

They were right back at it in the 84th minute when Macharia scored a wonderful volley when Mieno’s audacious pass picked his run into the box. The dreadlocked midfielder controlled the ball in sublime fashion before volleying the ball past a dazed Okoth.

Tusker’s Kevin Okoth vies for the ball with KCB’s Brian Ochieng

Despite pressure to get themselves a winner, Tusker’s comeback would halt at a draw as they picked up a point off the jaws of defeat.

Meanwhile in the early kick off, Bidco United and SOfapaka played to a 0-0 draw in a game that Bidco should have won, going by the chances they got. Eric Gichimu and David Gateri were guilty of several missed chances, the latter placing the ball wide in two one on one situations.

Tusker show grit of a champion with sensational comeback over KCB
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