Tusker squandered a chance to open a four-point gap at the top of the FKF Premier League table after sharing the spoils with Wazito in Friday’s 1-1 draw match at Utalii Grounds.
This was the second consecutive stalemate for the brewers after they were held to a barren draw by second placed KCB on the first weekend of the resumption of the league.
The result took Tusker’s points tally to 35, two ahead of the bankers, who tackle fifth-placed Bandari in Utalii on Saturday.
Just like KCB, title-chasing AFC Leopards (32) have an opportunity to dislodge Robert Matano’s men from the summit with a big win over Posta Rangers at Ruaraka Grounds on Saturday.
Sammy Meja gave Tusker an early lead in the fourth minute through a deflected free kick before Kevin Kimani capitalised on goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure’s howler to score a 19th minute equaliser.
While Matano was left fuming with the result, his Wazito counterpart Francis Kimanzi heaped praised on his players.
“It’s like we lost the game. Those are two dropped points because we conceded a very easy goal. There was some fighting spirit, but I feel registering two draws in a row is not good for us,” said a visibly disappointed Matano.
“I also think the referee made unnecessary calls and water break in the second half affecting the momentum and the rhythm of the game. All the same, we are looking forward to improve in our next match.”
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On the other hand, Kimanzi said: “I’m really proud of my players’ effort. Coming from a goal down to get a point from the league leaders means that we are learning very quickly. We could have won the game if we had maintained the same intensity we had in the first half.”
But Wazito were forced to make an early substitution in the seventh minute when central defender Benard Ochieng replaced the injured Maurice Ojwang.
Kimani then pounced on a rebound after the Rwandan goalkeeper failed to deal with Amos Asembeka’s feeble long range shot.
Wazito almost went ahead in the 34th minute, but Rogers Aloro reacted fast to intercept a cross for a fruitless corner.
Tusker responded immediately, but Christopher Ochieng’s glancing header from Luke Namanda’s delivery went over the bar before Boniface Muchiri forced a fine save from Wazito goalkeeper Levis Opiyo.
The brewers came close to regaining the lead on the stroke of halftime only for defender Kevin Monyi to scuff his effort in the area.
Namanda then saw his powerful shot kept out by Opiyo as both sides continued searching for the winning goal in vain.
Saturday’s matches will see Kakamega Homeboyz clash with Western Stima at Bukhungu Stadium as Ulinzi Stars and Kariobangi Sharks battle in Narok.