Jackson Macharia came off of the bench to score a last gasp goal as Tusker beat Wazito 1-0 at Kasarani Stadium on Friday to extend their stay at the top of the FKF Premier League.
Wazito frustrated the 11-time champions for the better part of the game only for Macharia to capitalise on their defensive mix up to break Francis Kimanzi men’s five-game unbeaten run. Macharia replaced Luke Namanda in the 65th minute.
The victory saw the brewers, open a four-point gap over second-placed KCB (20 points), who welcome Vihiga United at Utalii Grounds on Saturday. On the other hand, Wazito remain third on the log with 20 points from 11 matches.
On the hard-fought win, Tusker coach Robert Matano said: “We knew Wazito were motivated after winning their last five matches in a row, but we couldn’t give them room to manoeuvre. Good enough they didn’t create any chance, we contained them before Macharia won it for us.”
Tusker nearly took the lead in the 18th minute, but Wazito goalkeeper Levis Opiyo who was making his debut came off his line to deny Henry Meja a scoring chance.
Bernard Ochieng then brilliantly blocked Luke Namanda’s shot out for a fruitless corner before Kevin Monyi did well to clear Musa Masika’s dangerous cross from the right flank on the opposite end.
Wazito got a half-chance in the 20th minute when Michael Owino earned them a free-kick in a promising position but Kevin Kimani skied his effort.
Moments later, Hashim Sempala’s powerful shot was deflected for a corner by Wazito’s defensive wall before Bonface Omondi’s feeble shot went straight into goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure’s hands.
Sempala almost put Tusker in front in the 36th minute but his powerful free-kick was perfectly punched out for a fruitless corner by Opiyo before Namanda scuffed his shot in the area after being set up by Meja.
Tusker then suffered an injury blow with Vincent Ngesa replacing injured Eugene Asike before Benard Ochieng superbly intercepted Apollo Otieno’s goal-bound shot on the stroke of halftime.
Bonface Omondi had a chance to break the deadlock four minutes into the second half following Tusker’s defensive error, but the former Gor Mahia’s shot went agonisingly wide.
Tusker responded immediately after a brilliant team build-up, but Meja blasted wide after brilliantly rounding off the goalkeeper in the box before Whyvonne Isuza’s shot from Omondi’s cross was deflected for a Wazito corner.
Meja thought he had found the breakthrough on the hour mark only for his shot to crash against the crossbar before his another attempt hit the side netting with the goalkeeper already off his line.
In the 74th minute, substitute George Odhiambo raced down on the left flank but indecision cost him as he feebly shot at the goalkeeper to the dismay of his Tusker teammates before Humphrey Mieno shot wide after pouncing on a loose ball.
A few minutes later, Bernard Ochieng had an opportunity at the edge of the box but his shot didn’t trouble Tusker custodian.
But Macharia saved for the last when he scored the winner deep into the stoppage time after Wazito’s defensive error..