Double Digits For Alwanga As Thika Hold Mathare
The lads were held to a 1-1 draw by Thika United in a Round 19 league match played at the Kenyatta Stadium on Sunday.
Clifford Alwanga secured a point with a 66th minute header to cancel out Eugene Mukangula's goal scored in the early exchanges.
A slow start from the boys saw them fall behind as early as the seventh minute when Shami Kibwana found himself unmarked on the outside left channel in a counter attack situation.
He raced into the box where he sent a cross at the back post towards James Kinyanjui who showed altruism to square the ball to Mukangula. With only Robert Mboya to beat, he showed composure to beat him with a low finish.
At the quarter hour mark, Kinyanjui almost doubled the visitors’ lead when a poorly controlled ball from David Owino fell kindly for him but the youngster fluffed his effort from close range.
Mathare’s first real chance came as a result of a moment of individual brilliance from Cliff Nyakeya. The winger waltzed past three blue shirts and fired a rasping drive towards goal but Eliud Emase gathered comfortably at his near post.
Moments later, Chris Ochieng’ was played clean through on goal by Ahmed but he contrived to shoot over the bar when crossing the ball to Alwanga and Ahmed in the box was clearly the better option.
The hosts were almost made to pay on the other end when Michael Mutinda beat the offside trap and galloped past Owino. He picked out Mata Masakidi with a low cross from the right but the forward placed his finish narrowly wide the right post with the goal gaping in front of him.
A decent second half from the Slum Boys was announced by an impressive start. John Mwangi picked out Nyakeya with a pin point cross from the left. Nyakeya, unmarked, packed a lot of power in his header that cannoned off the underside of the crossbar and Emase reacted fast to gather.
Ahmed watched in disbelief as his first time volley crashed onto the left upright after Mwangi had found him with a clever cutback shortly afterwards. That was his last piece of action as he was withdrawn for Edward Seda.
Thika United coach John Njogu replied introducing Peter Okoth for Mata yet Mathare continued dominating with the introduction of Elijah Mwanzia.
The men in yellow needed a respite and Clifford Alwanga provided it in the coolest of ways. He sneaked at the back post to nod home Mwangi's searching cross and restore parity with a diving header.
He should have doubled his lead three minutes later from a freekick but he was denied by Emase’s outstretched right foot. The custodian recovered on time to deny Mwangi from converting the rebound.
A delightful team move saw Mwangi flick Simiyu's cross into the path of Alwanga but the club’s top scorer blasted wide. There was a nervy ending to the game as Simiyu and Nyakeya tested Emase on separate occasions but the keeper emerged tops pulling a string of super saves to ensure his side got a share of the spoils.
Thika finished the match with ten men after Kassim Mwinyi was sent off for a secod bookable offence in the latter stages.
Man of the match: Mike Simiyu
The draw leaves us at second place with 32 points, two behind league leaders Gor Mahia.
Starting XI: 1. Robert Mboya (GK) 3. Mike Simiyu 20.Martin Ongori 25. Samuel Olwande (C) 16.David Owino 22.Roy Okal 10.Ahmed Ahmad (51’ 4.Edward Seda) 11.Cliff Nyakeya 21. Clifford Alwanga 9.Chris Ochieng’ (64’ 17.Elijah Mwanzia)
Unused Subs: 30.Job Ochieng’ (GK) 23. Lennox Ogutu 15.Ronald Reagan 8.Alphonce Ndonye 24.Klinsman Omulanga