Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League champions Tusker FC eased pressure on their backs with a 1-0 victory at home against Bandari FC to move into the top 10 and keep their hopes of pushing for a consecutive title alive.
The victory courtesy of Clyde Senaji’s wonderful strike takes Tusker to ninth place and 23 points, 10 behind leaders Kakamega Homeboyz.
“We really needed to win this game because we have not been performing well in the past few matches. It was a tough game but I must commend my teammates for putting in a fight. Now we focus on the second match on Sunday and hopefully we continue to win,” said Tusker defender Christopher Oruchum.
Bandari coach Andre Cassa Mbungo admitted that pressure is on the team after going for the fifth match without victory.
“We couldn’t convert our chances and that was the major undoing. But we keep fighting and hopefully we can rescue the situation,” added the coach.
Bandari’s start to the match was disorganized after less than quarter of an hour when midfielder Dennis Magige had to come out injured following a collision with Daniel Sakari. Magige had the first effort on target for Bandari with his long range shot which went straight into keeper Patrick Matasi’s arms.
The chances weren’t as many and with their first on target, Tusker got into the lead. Senaji picked up the ball at the edge of the box after the defense cleared away the ball from Eric Zakayo’s feet. The midfielder set himself up with the first touch and rifled a brilliant volley that hit the underside of the bar before going in.
The goal injected a push of confidence on the brewers and they almost went to the break two goals up when Zakayo put John Njuguna through with a pass at the edge of the box. However, the latter’s shot on his weaker right foot was parried away by Mike Wanyika in the Bandari goal.
At the start of the second half, Bandari made changes with their newest acquisition Kevin Kimani being introduced as well as William Wadri and Abdallah Hassan. This was a clear indicator that the dockers were going all offensive.
But, Tusker maintained their forward play and they had chances with Njuguna, Zakayo and Majak having efforts on the half volley all going wide.
Tusker also made changes, Deogratious Ojok and Jackson Macharia being brought in for Ibrahim Joshua and Majak. Later, Jackson Macharia was also brought in to further spice the attack.
With five minutes left, Njuguna came close to scoring a second when Ojok teed him up at the edge of the box, but his curling effort flew just wide. Macharia also had a volley from distance go just wide as he looked to catch the keeper off his line.
On the other end, Bandari were threatening with set pieces with new signing Kimani providing the danger, but they couldn’t crack Matasi’s backline. The closest they came was from a long range effort but Matasi once again easily collected.