Mwanzia rescues a point at Chemelil
Elijah Mwanzia enhanced his reputation as a super sub as he stepped off the bench to net a late equalizer against Chemelil Sugar in the Round 28 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match played at the Chemelil Sugar Complex on Sunday 1 October.
Collins Neto had opened the scoring in the 22nd minute to hand the hosts a lead that they held on till late until Mwanzia converted a penalty at the death to secure us a point on the road.
The lads started off brightly pinning their opponents in their own half and it was Lennox Ogutu who came close to making our early dominance pay on the quarter hour mark. Tyson Otieno played a short corner with John Mwangi who picked out Ogutu with a pin point cross but the centre half’s header missed the target narrowly.
Abdallah Juma’s charges grew into the match and their ascendancy was capped by a decent goal from Neto who pounced on a long ball from Benjamin Oketch to loop the ball past an advancing Opiyo. A scrappy period of play ensued thereafter before Ogutu was booked for a high boot on Neto.
Jaffery Owiti almost doubled Chemelil’s lead at the brink of half time after John Mwita played him through on goal with a clever back heel flick but Samuel Olwande reacted fast to block his effort with a clean slide tackle.
The lack of cutting edge upfront forced Francis Kimanzi to his first sub at the restart introducing Mwanzia for Chris Ochieng’ yet it was the Millers who almost went further ahead. Phillip Muchuma powered a half volley from the edge of the box towards the top right corner but Opiyo showed good reflexes to tip the ball over the bar.
A low cross by Cliff Nyakeya on the left took a wicked deflection off Oketch into the side netting as the lads pushed to level the scores. Opiyo, who was having a match to remember, kept us in the game with a brilliant one handed save to deny Neto his second of the day.
The introduction of Derrick Onyango and Ronald Reagan beefed up our attack and Mwanzia showed his aerial threat shortly afterwards. The lanky forward stooped higher than Chemelil keeper John Waw to flick Ogutu’s delivery towards goal but Smith Ouko was at hand to make a goal line clearance.
A controversial moment in our box saw Mwita nudge Olwande before delivering a cutback into the area. However Owiti arrived late and the danger was averted.
Erastus Mwaniki, introduced for Muchuma, made a telling contribution in them match. He dispossessed George Owino before setting up Neto for a shot. However Ogutu reacted quickly to cover up and clear the ball for a corner.
Eager to level the scores, Mwanzia was tripped by Oketch in the box as he raced onto a headed knock on from Reagan but referee Hosea Omondi waved play on clearly ignoring the penalty appeal. He however redeemed himself from the poor decision moments later after Nyakeya was appended by Ouko and he awarded a penalty.
Mwanzia, who requested to take over the penalty taking duty from Chrsipin Oduor, sauntered up to the penalty spot with the poise of a man on an afternoon stroll. He expertly tucked his effort into the bottom left corner despite Waw getting a hand on it.
The one all draw takes our tally to 22 points and leaves us at 15th place as we head into the FIFA international week.
Starting XI: 30. Levis Opiyo (GK) 16.David Owino 25.Samuel Olwande 6. George Owino (C) 23. Lennox Ogutu 22. Roy Okal 27.Tyson Otieno (72’ 15.Ronald Reagan) 29. Chrispin Oduor 13. John Mwangi (60’ 14.Derrick Onyango) 17.Cliff Nyakeya 9. Chris Ochieng’ (50’ 17. Elijah Mwanzia)
Unused subs: 1. Mark Kioko (GK) 12. Andrew Juma 20.Martin Ongori 24.Victor Ashinga