Opiyo sees red as Sony holds Mathare
Mathare United registered their third draw on the bounce after settling for a barren draw with Sony Sugar in a dull encounter played at the Ruaraka Stadium on Saturday 15 July.
After settling for a point apiece in the last two fixtures the lads came into this match with high expectations of a win given that bottom placed Western Stima had picked an invaluable win over Tusker to climb out of the bottom of the log yet it was the visitors who started brightly.
A long innocuous ball from Justine Omari took an awkward bounce to allow George Abege to sneak in behind skipper George Owino. Having left his marker in his wake, the lanky Ugandan galloped towards goal but his effort was brilliantly saved by an advancing Levis Opiyo.
Then on the other end Daniel Mwaura squandered an opportunity to provide the breakthrough after being played clean through on goal intelligently by Ronald Reagan; his ultimate shot too feeble to test Kevin Omondi in the Millers’ goal.
Six minutes after the quarter hour mark, David Owino failed to plant the ball into an empty net after Chrispin Oduor had done well to draw Kevin Omondi off his line and tee up the youngster for a shot.
A scrappy period of play ensued thereafter before Abege showed a rare part of his game to set up his strike partner Laban Gambareko with a deft flick. However Lennox Ogutu recovered quickly to clear away the danger.
After a quiet first half, Reagan sought to make his impact felt in the game soon after the restart. This was by far the best chance of the game. From point blank range, the June acquisition fired a venomous drive towards goal but Omondi matched it all the way with a brave save to ensure the score line remained blank.
Both coaches sought inspiration from the bench with Salim Babu sending Justine Monda and Yema Mwana into the fray while Kimanzi introduced Cliff Nyakeya for the injured Martin Ongori as the hour mark approached.
Then yet another chance went begging this time Chris Ochieng’ unlucky to see his effort blocked by Omari after Omondi had failed to gather cleanly from a dipping delivery from the right.
Opiyo sent off
An anxious ending to the game saw Babu forced to make his third substitution after Abege suffered a nasty injury on his ankle; his place being taken up by Abdallah Hamisi. With only five minutes remaining, we were reduced to ten men after Levis Opiyo was sent off for denying Mwana a clear goal scoring chance with a malicious tackle on the Congolese import.
The result leaves us bottom of the table with 12 points. League action resumes on Saturday 29 July with a trip to Mumias to face Kakamega Homeboyz.
Starting XI: 30. Levis Opiyo (86’ Red card) (GK) 25. Samuel Olwande 20. Martin Ongori (65’ 11. Cliff Nyakeya) 6. George Owino (C) 23. Lennox Ogutu 22.Roy Okal 29. Chrispin Oduor 16.David Owino (86’ 18. Wycliffe Kasaya (GK)) 15. Ronald Reagan 2. Daniel Mwaura 9. Chris Ochieng’ (85’ 13. John Mwangi)
Unused Subs: 12. Andrew Juma 24. Victor Ashinga 27. Tyson Otieno 17. Elijah Mwanzia
Starting XI: 35. Kevin Omondi (GK) 3. Samuel Olare 17. Joseph Omweri 13. Justine Omari 26. Alfred Onyango (C) 21. Frederick Onyango 20. Victor Ademba 9. Amos Asembeka 10. Benjamin Mosha (63’ 15. Justine Monda) 8. Laban Gambareko (52’ 14. Yema Mwana) 24.George Abege (75’ 4. Abdallah Hamisi)
Subs: 1. Kevin Otieno (GK) 6. Bernard Omondi 31. Curtis Wekesa 28. Jessy Obora