Tusker remained in pole position in the 2020/21 Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) race after coming from two goals down to hold second-placed KCB at Thika Sub County Stadium.
Tusker remain at the helm of the table on 51 points, four ahead of KCB. Ulinzi Stars suffered their third humiliating defeat in a row when they were gunned down 2-0 by Nairobi City Stars at the Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) Showgrounds in Nakuru.
Bottom-placed Mathare United’s woes persisted as they lost 4-2 to Kakamega Homeboyz at the same venue.
Here are the four talking points from the round 24 matches held at the weekend.
Tusker show champions mentality
When KCB’s striker Derrick Otanga scored his second goal after 24 minutes thanks to Tusker goalkeeper Robert Mboya’s howler, the match appeared all but over.
There is no doubt that the bankers scented their 15th victory of the season which would have seen them cut Tusker’s lead to just one point.
But Tusker coach Robert Matano once again turned to his bench to try and save the match, and boy did it work.
He introduced midfielder Humphrey Mieno for Faraj Odenyi after the half-hour mark and the Kenyan international produced a man-of-the-match performance as the brewers fought back to claim a point.
Mieno capitalised on the error by KCB goalkeeper Joseph Okoth to reduce the deficit on 70 minutes and 14 minutes later, he set up substitute Jackson Macharia to net the equaliser.
It is not the first time Tusker have come back from losing positions. Against Gor Mahia on July 8, the Ruaraka-based side rallied from behind to win 2-1.
They also came from behind to beat Ulinzi Stars and Western Stima 4-1 and 2-1 respectively.
“We have experienced players and then we analyse the team that we are playing against. We can predict what they will do and then we respond with the right changes. We integrate, so it becomes one solid attack,” said Matano.
Erick Kapaito closing in on Golden Boot
Kariobangi Sharks’ striker Erick Kapaito took his goals tally thus far to 19 after scoring from the spot in their 3-0 win over Posta Rangers at Ruaraka grounds in Nairobi on Saturday.
This saw the former FC Talanta man open a five-goal gap between him and his main challenger – Elvis Rupia of AFC Leopards.
Kapaito has now surpassed his 2016 tally of 16 goals and it remains to be seen whether he will break Boniface Ambani’s 15-year-old record of 26 goals.
“It is very good if he (Kapaito) scores and the team wins. I really wish and pray for him to get past the 20 (goals) mark because he is doing a good job,” said Kariobangi Sharks coach William Muluya.
Ulinzi Stars’ ship sinking again
Ulinzi Stars looked to have put their woeful performances behind them when they went five matches unbeaten between March 21 and June 26.
However, the seas have become murky for the four-time champions losing their last three matches.
Ulinzi lost 2-0 to visiting Nairobi City Stars on Sunday at the ASK Showgrounds, barely a week after they fell 3-1 to Kakamega Homeboyz at the same venue.
On June 30, the soldiers were thrashed 4-1 by leaders Tusker at the same venue. Ulinzi have since slipped to 11th on 28 points.
Mathare United’s survival chances grow slim
Mathare United squandered the chance to register their first back-to-back victory this season when they allowed Kakamega Homeboyz to score three late goals and beat them 4-2.
Shami Kibwana put Homeboyz ahead in the nine minute, but John Mwangi’s double after the break saw the Slum Boys take charge of the match.
But they could not hold on for a vital win as Moses Mudavadi, Kibwana and Stephen Etyang added further goals to claim the points for Homeboyz. Mathare remain bottom on 14 points.