Mathare United shot to the summit of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) with a 3-2 victory over struggling Nakumatt in a Round 9 match played at the Ruaraka Grounds on Wednesday.
The win takes them to the top of the league standings with 20 points, one ahead of Gor Mahia who were not in action in midweek.
Cliff Nyakeya opened the scoring in the first minute before Donald Mosoti restored parity from the spot in the 23rd minute.
Francis Omondi set the visitors on the driving seat with a well taken penalty shortly after the restart before Clifford Alwanga doubled their lead at the hour mark.
Mosoti scored once again from 12 yards out deep in injury time but it turned out to be a mere consolation and the last action of the match.
It was a special day for Mathare United with skipper George Owino and Robert Mboya celebrating their birthdays. Much of the pre-match talk was hinged on Nakumatt’s porous defence that has seen them concede 15 in the last eight matches.
That record stood in stark contrast to Mathare United’s dangerous attack that had found the net seven times in the last four. There was certainly going to be fire and it was on form Cliff Nyakeya who ignited it with a sweeping finish from close range after connecting to Martin Ongori’s low cross form the right.
The reply almost arrived on the other end but Robert Mboya gathered at the goal line after a goal mouth melee in the Mathare United box. Clifford Alwanga then tested Nakumatt custodian Kirimi with a glancing header from Francis Omondi’s delivery from a corner but he watched in dismay as it was palmed away for another corner.
Mboya once again showed great awareness to deny Cornelius Juma from point blank range but he was lucky Clinton Kisiavuki fluffed the rebound wide.
The hosts had a length meeting pre-match before they took to the filed demanding for unpaid dues but it did not take long before they restored parity. Francis Omondi hacked Boniface Mukhekhe in the box and a penalty was given against the Slum Boys. Mosoti took a long run from 25 yards but he made no mistake when he arrived in the box sending Mboya the wrong way to level the scores.
A scrappy period of play ensued before Alwanga attempted a Cristiano Ronaldo overhead kick that was brilliantly kept out by an alert Kirimi.
Kirimi kept his side in the game with another reflex save to deny Cliff Nyakeya from close range after Edward Seda had teed up the youngster for a shot inside the six yard box.
However he could nothing to prevent Francis Omondi from scoring, the midfielder sending him the wrong way from 12 yards out. The penalty having been awarded after Faina Jacobs pushed Owino to the ground while scrambling for a corner.
Chrispin Oduor thought he had doubled his side’s lead from their next foray upfront but his effort cannoned off the upright after Seda had picked him out with a clever cutback.
Oduor benefitted from another run down the left from Daniel Mwaura but his shot was blocked by Eugene Ambulwa as Francis Kimanzi’s charges looked to put the game beyond reach.
The moment the Slum Boys craved finally arrived with Seda making finding space down the left where he whipped a low cross into the area. The connection from Alwanga was top drawer, his finish flying into the roof of the net giving Kirimi no chance.
Brian Nyakan had a chance to give his side a smidgen of hope shortly afterwards but he could keep his shot down with Mboya off his line. Kimanzi rung changes introducing Ronald Reagan and John Mwangi.
Mwangi, a constant menace on the left since his introduction, almost got on the score sheet but his long range drive was tipped over the bar by Kirimi with only a minute left on the clock.
A late penalty awarded to Nakumatt after Martin Ongori was penalized for a high boot on Wanyonyi was converted in similar fashion by Mosoti but the full time whistle was blown moments later to confirm Mathare United’s sixth win of the season.