Pressure Mounts on Matano as Tusker Suffer Sixth Loss of the Season

Substitute Oliver Maloba scored an 87th minute sucker punch as Nairobi City Stars beat FKF Premier League defending champions Tusker FC by a solitary goal at Ruaraka on Sunday, piling more pressure on coach Robert Matano.

The brewers lost their sixth match in just 12 games, one more than they lost the entire season of their title-winning run last season.

A second consecutive loss for the brewers now puts Matano on a tight spot especially having overhauled the squad with loads of new signings at the end of the season.

The match was off to a feisty start when an off the ball scuffle between Salim Abdalla and Tusker forward Ibrahim Joshua caused a long stoppage with the City Stars defender requiring heavy bandaging on his head.

None of the referees saw the incident and no card was flushed.

The home side who were seeking to bounce back from last weekend’s similar loss to Posta Rangers came close after 16 minutes when John Njuguna took on a long range shot on the volley, but he was denied by the crossbar.

Two minutes on the turn, City Stars had a clear chance on goal when the impressive Timothy ‘Babu’ Ouma raced on to a long ball but defender Christopher Oruchum made a timely tackle to poke the ball away just he was preparing to take a shot at goal from inside the box.

Tusker had back to back chances as they increasingly became dangerous. In the 34th minute some beautiful interchange of passes at the edge of the box saw Deogratious Ojok flick Lawrence Luvanda through but the winger’s shot was weak and the keeper easily gathered.

A minute later Njuguna was at the thick of things again and this time he let fly a superb volley on his favourite left foot but Osano punched the ball away. Ugandan Ojok had another chance, this time from a freekick, but his effort was punched away by Osano.City Stars also had the crossbar denying them, this time from Dennis Wanjala’s freekick which curled to the top corner, but came off the frame of goal.

In the second half, Tusker made changes with Shami Kibwana coming in for Ojok, while Clyde Senaji was also later introduced for Humphrey Mieno and Stewart Omondi for Lawrence Luvanda.

Tusker however couldn’t change the face of the game and found themselves trailing with three minutes to go.

Ouma picked the ball in midfield and sent substitute Maloba through, the winger beating Brian Bwire at his near post. With only three minutes left, Tusker didn’t have enough in the tank to fight for a win.


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