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Tusker fire blanks in Bukhungu as City Stars, Homeboyz share spoils

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Daniel Sakari of Tusker FC surges forward

All three FKF Premier League matches played on Monday afternoon ended in draws. League leaders Nairobi City Stars and Kakamega Homeboyz played to a 1-1 draw at the Ruaraka Complex while at Kasarani, Wazito and Bandari also played to a similar result. Both games saw late equalizers.

Rodgers Okumu scored an 87th minute goal for City Stars to prevent Homeboyz from extending their lead on top of the standings. His goal cancelled out Gaetan Masha’s opener.

In Kasarani, Michael Owino scored in the third minute of added time as Wazito scraped for a point after John Mwita had given the dockers a 43rd minute lead.

At the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, Tusker FC and Vihiga Bullets fired blanks as they played out to a 0-0 draw in a game that the bottom placed home side had more chances to score.

Tusker also hit the post late on as they fell further behind the leaders in their hunt to defend the title.

“It was a really unlucky day because we had the chances to score but failed to utilise them. We gave a good account of ourselves but we couldn’t do what mattered most, scoring a goal,” said Tusker goalkeeper and skipper of the day Patrick Matasi.

Tusker FC goalkeeper Patrick Matasi

The brewers missed regular captain Eugene Asike through injury, the defender having suffered a fractured nose after the first leg meeting last Thursday in Nairobi.

In the return fixture, it was Bullets who started faster off the blocks and had the game’s best chances in the opening half.

Matasi had to be hawkeyed to keep his side in the game. The keeper made a fine save with a good reflex after just six minutes to keep away Martin Okumu’s shot at the edge of the box. Five minutes later, Matasi made another save, this time collecting a well curled effort from Ibrahim Kajuba.

The brewers got their first opportunity after 27 minutes when Apollo Otieno picked up a lose ball from distance before firing on target. The keeper made a full stretched save, but the Tusker forwards couldn’t react quick enough with the defense clearing.

In the 34th minute, Jimmy Mbugua went for the spectacular when a long throw from Sakari was deflected into his path. However, his shot on the half volley from distance went wide.

Ibrahim Kajuba of Vihiga Bullets controls the ball as Tusker’s Apollo Otieno watches

A minute to the break, Matasi was called into action again, this time making a decent flying catch to pick out Michael Isabwa’s header from a freekick.

In the second half, Vihiga started well with Matasi making another fine save, tipping over Okumu’s shot on the volley for a corner.

Coach Robert Matano then made three changes as he looked to refresh his side’s attack. Rodgers Ouma who scored in the first leg, Deogratious Ojok and John Njuguna were brought off for Humphrey Mieno, Stewart Omondi and Ibrahim Joshua.

The changes sparked some life and speed into the Tusker attack and they had some chances. The Vihiga keeper had to stretch out to push away a Shaphan Oyugi header before Joshua came close to his sixth of the season with a shot that hit the side netting.

Tusker’s Ibrahim Joshua takes a shot at goal

The Tanzanian also had another chance, this time with a curling effort from the edge of the area but the shot flew straight to the keeper.

As the game wore on, Lawrence Luvanda and Jackson Macharia were introduced for Shaphan and Eric Zakayo. Luvanda came inches close to clinching three points for his side in the 85th minute when his volley inside the box was deflected onto the crossbar.

Tusker dumped more balls into the Vihiga box as they sought a goal, but the home side defended with everything to guard the vital point.

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