- Patrick Matasi put up a man-of-the-match performance in goal for Tusker
- The brewers remained top of the standings despite the draw
- They Play FC Talanta in their next match
Goalkeeper Patrick Matasi put up a man of the match performance as FKF Premier League defending champions Tusker FC survived a scare from on-form Nzoia Sugar, the two sides playing to a 0-0 draw at the Ruaraka Complex.
The brewers were coming off a 2-1 defeat away to Bandari in Mombasa, and needed a huge performance to steady their place on top of the standings. They had chances to score, especially in the first half, but it was Nzoia who had the best opportunities to come off with three points.
They however had to play most of the second half with 10 men after defender Tom Teka was sent off on his debut after a second yellow card.
Tusker coach Robert Matano was pleased with the point, but rued the missed opportunities.
“We had chances to win the game especially in the first half but we could not utilize them. Such tough games are usually won with few chances. But we did well especially in the second half when we went a man down,” the tactician said.
Nzoia with the best of chances
Nzoia will only have themselves to blame for failing to kill the game and move top of the standings for the first time this season.
“We played really well but we should have left here with three points. We dominated most phases of the game,” said the tactician.
Tusker had a good start with several opportunities to score. Eric Zakayo had a brilliant opportunity to break the deadlock after just six minutes. Shami Mwinyi’s cross from the right found him isolated at the backpost but his connection on the volley went over.
The 21-year old had another brilliant chance when he found shooting space from 20 yards out, but the keeper made a save.
On the other end, Tusker needed Matasi to make a massive save when he dived well to his right to deny Joseph Mwangi one on one after the Nzoia danger man had made way into the area. In the 37th minute, Matasi was beaten, but this time Nzoia saw their effort denied by the upright.
Brewers survive onslaught of pressure
The brewers were relieved to go to the break level at 0-0 after surviving an onslaught of pressure.
In the second half, Matano’s men started well, but they were deflated on the hour mark when defender Teka was sent off for a second yellow card after a handball that was deemed deliberate by the referee.
Nzoia tried to make up with an immediate offensive substitute before Tusker could react. With the centre back sent off and with limited options, midfielder Humphrey Mieno dropped to centreback to partner Kalos Kirenge.
The visitors had another glorious opportunity in the 73rd minute when Mwangi broke away once again on the counter, but Matasi pulled another brilliant save.
In the final quarter of an hour, Tusker, who had already made offensive changes with top scorer Deogratious Ojok, David Majak, Lawrence Luvanda and John Njuguna coming on, upped the pressure.
Luvanda had a shot from the right punched away by the keeper while both Ojok and Majak had headers sail wide.
Despite the draw, Tusker remained top of the log with 19 points, one ahead of second placed Nzoia.