Amos Asembeka’s controversial penalty denied Mathare United an invaluable win at Awendo after Sony Sugar rallied from a goal down to cancel out Ronald Reagan’s first half opener in a Round 19 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match played on Sunday 6 April.
A bright start from the lads saw them raid the hosts in the early exchanges as they went all out in search of an early goal with the attacking trio of Ronald Reagan, Chris Ochieng’ and John Mwangi looking sharp.
However it was the Millers who almost grabbed the lead against the run of play moments before the quarter hour mark. Samuel Olare sent a long ball into our area that Levis Opiyo failed to gather cleanly after losing his footing due to the slippery surface. Benjamin Mosha picked up the loose ball and did well to lay it into the path of Marwa Chamberi despite being under pressure from Andrew Juma. With the goal gaping in front of him, Chamberi blasted his effort awfully wide.
The perfect punishment arrived on the other end when Derrick Nzosi’s delivery from a corner provided the breakthrough. The wing back swung in a sumptuous ball that Ochieng’ dummied towards bamboozling the entire Sony Sugar rearguard. Reagan, who was unmarked at the back post, capitalized on the defensive lapse to tap in from close range.
Mwangi, who was having his first start of the season, almost doubled our advantage moments later but his penalty appeal landed him in David Mulongo’s book for diving. The 17 year old played a quick give and go with Chrispin Oduor at the edge of the box before slaloming his way into the box where he was appended by Joseph Omweri.
Even as Sony Sugar struggled to get into the game, Reagan could have extended his tally but Olare heroically blocked his effort with Kevin Omondi well beaten in goal. At this point, Salim Babu’s charges were having a day to forget and Marwa Chamberi only compounded their woes by fluffing his shot after Amos Asembeka had produced a brilliant individual run to play him through.
Victor Ademba produced a flicker of hope with his blockbuster of a shot that squirmed over the bar before their best chance of the match arrived at the brink of half time. Bernard Omondi, formerly of Mathare United, was given a lot of room to shoot from the edge of the box and he forced Opiyo to a superb one hand save.
At the restart, Reagan picked from where he had left rising high to connect to Nzosi’s delivery from a corner but his goal bound header was cleared off the line by Joseph Omweri. Babu summoned Yema Mwana from his bench in search of attacking punch yet we continued to dominate in attack. Ochieng set Mwangi feinting down the left in a counter attack situation and the latter was unlucky to see his effort roll narrowly off target after spotting Omondi off his line.
Then the unexpected happened on our end. Asembeka’s goal bound shot was blocked by Victor Ashinga inside the box but Mulongo signaled for a penalty despite the ball clearly coming off Ashinga’s thighs. Asembeka stepped forward to tuck his effort at the bottom left corner beyond Opiyo’s full stretch dive.
Edward Seda, quiet all afternoon, squandered a glorious chance to put us back in control when he placed the ball wide after Mwangi had done well to beat his marker on the left and found him with a clever cutback. Francis Kimanzi then introduced Roy Okal for the jaded Ashinga and the substitution almost paid off immediately. Okal, with his first touch of the ball, produced a dipping shot form the laces of his right boot but Omondi matched it brilliantly to acrobatically tip it over the bar for a corner.
The tie was reduced to a tactical battle in the latter stages as Kimanzi introduced Derrick Onyango and Abubakar Keya while Babu sent youngsters Tobias Otieno and Festus Okiring to the fray. The point leaves us at 17th place with as many points ahead of our next encounter against Zoo Kericho on Saturday 12 August.
Starting XI: 30. Levis Opiyo (GK) 21. Derrick Nzosi 6. George Owino (C) 23. Lennox Ogutu 12. Andrew Juma 24. Victor Ashinga (79’ 22.Roy Okal) 4.Edward Seda (90’ 26.Abubakar Keya) 29. Chrispin Oduor 15. Ronald Reagan 9. Chris Ochieng’ 13. John Mwangi (82’ 14. Derrick Onyango)
Unused subs: 18.Wycliffe Kasaya (GK) 11. Cliff Nyakeya 17. Elijah Mwanzia 16.David Owino
Starting XI: 35. Kevin Omondi (GK) 3. Samuel Olare 17. Joseph Omweri 6.Bernard Omondi 26. Alfred Onyango (C) 20. Victor Ademba 12. David Simiyu (Festus Okiring) 9. Amos Asembeka 10. Benjamin Mosha 8. Laban Gambareko (52’ 14. Yema Mwana) 2. Marwa Chamberi (Tobias Otieno)
Unused subs: 1. Kevin Otieno (GK) 31. Curtis Wekesa 28. Jessy Obora