Football

Tusker FC breathe on Homeboyz’s neck with victory over Talanta

Tusker FC players celebrate
  • Tusker are now three points behind Homeboyz
  • The brewers revenged for the first leg loss against Talanta
  • The two sides lock horns next weekend

Tusker FC are now breathing on the necks of runaway leaders Kakamega Homeboyz after edging out FC Talanta 1-0 at the Ruaraka Complex on Saturday to move to within three points of the table toppers.

Rodgers Ouma struck a sublime first half goal to hand Tusker maximum points, revenging for the 1-0 loss they suffered at the hands of the Premier League new boys in the first leg.

“I feel very delighted to have scored the goal that gave the team maximum points. It was a very crucial game for us and I am delighted that we could win. Now we need to keep on pushing because we have six huge games remaining and we have to keep winning,” said the midfielder.

With the win, Tusker are now on 52 points, three behind Homeboyz who face relegation fighting Wazito FC later on Sunday. Talanta meanwhile suffered their first defeat in six games and are remain ninth in the standings.

The match was off to a slow start but once the pace picked up, it was Tusker who had the chances on a match they were the away team on their own homeground.

They had their first sniff at goal 16th minute when Shami Kibwana played a quick one-two change of passes with Rodgers, but his low shot was deflected for a corner.

Tusker’s Shami Kibwana in action against FC Talanta

From the eventual set piece, Isaac Kipyegon floated in an inviting corner, but Humphrey Mieno’s header flushed just wide. In the 27th minute Shami had another chance when he changed passes sweetly with Shaphan, but his rasping shot went wide.

The pressure finally bore fruit in the 32nd minute when keeper Patrick Matasi played a long ball to Shaphan who glanced it down to Rodgers. The midfielder controlled with his chest before firing a belter into the net.

Six minutes later, another brilliant chance popped up when Shami sent Shaphan through on goal. The midfielder took a heavy first touch but the ball ricocheted back to him. He set up Lawrence Luvanda but the latter’s shot went wide.

In the second half, Talanta once again started strong, but luckily, the backline stood tall to ensure the scores remained the same.

Tusker’s Shaphan Oyugi in action against Talanta

On the hour mark though, the team pushed up the tempo. In the 63rd minute, Shami did well to dance away from his marker, but his eventual left footed shot was turned behind for a corner by the keeper.

The team had back to back efforts come off the woodwork. In the 65th minute, Shaphan made a run on the right before shooting low, but the strong effort hit the upright and kindly fell back to the keeper.

Two minutes later, John Njuguna, with virtually his first kick of the game after coming on for Shaphan was denied by the woodwork after striking a left footed shot inside the box when Kipyegon’s long throw wasn’t cleared well.

Isaac Kipyegon battles for the ball

At the tail end of the game, Njuguna should have sealed all three points when he did well to skip beyond his marker inside the box, but his right footed curler went just over.

Meanwhile in other matches played on Saturday, Andrew Juma scored a 91st minute goal as Bandari FC beat Bidco United 2-1 in Mombasa. Kevin Kimani’s penalty had given Bandari the lead before Bidco equalized a minute after the break.

In Kakamega, Vihiga United’s fight to avoid the chop suffered a hit after losing 1-0 to Posta Rangers at home. In Kericho, Mathare United failed to turn up for the second game in a row as they handed a walkover to Ulinzi Stars.

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