Two second half goals capped off a fine and dominant display from Nairobi City Stars as they beat Kariobangi Sharks 2-1 in Saturday’s BetKing Premier League (BPL) clash staged at Utalii Grounds.
From the word go, Sanjin Alagic’s City Stars showed the earliest intention in the game, pushing foward to get an early advantage in the goal.
Were it not for an unfortunate strike of luck and wayward finishing, the Kawangware based side could have been two goals up by the half hour mark.
The first clearest chance of the game came in the 26th minute of the game when Peter ‘Pinchez’ Opiyo released David Agesa down the left flank with an accurate through ball.
Agesa picked it up nicely, beat Daniel Sakari with some nice footworks before unleashing a shot from the edge of the area. Despite beating Brandon Bwire in the Sharks goal, Agesa could not celebrate as the ball hit the post and went back into play before being cleared.
Just three minutes later, Anthony ‘Muki’ Kimani found Elvis Noor in the box with a pin point delivery but the midfielder placed his header wide when unmarked completely in the box.
Of the two sides, Sharks would be the happiest side going into the half time break with the deadlock yet to be broken as City Stars over ran them in every department.
Sharks came out of the second half just a tad better side. Despite pushing in City’s half, the team were made to pay when Bwire in goal miscontrolled a simple backpass and just hit through Nicholas Kipkirui who closed down on him, leaving the referee with no option but to point to the spot.
Peter ‘Pinchez’ Opiyo stepped up and expertly dispatched the spot kick into the back of the net to deservedly give City Stars the lead in the 57th minute.
Kipkirui came close to doubling the team’s tally in the 65th minute when his headed attempt beat Bwire but just flashed agonizingly past the post.
Substitute Oliver Maloba repaid the manager’s faith in the 76th minute when he hammered in the second goal of the game after a nice Kipkirui dummy took out the Sharks defender and left the winger all alone, a chance he could not miss, blasting the ball past Bwire.
In a rare moment, Sharks almost pulled one back when Patillah Omoto fired in a curving corner kick but goalkeeper Steve Njunge cleared his effort from the goal line just in time.
Against the run of play, and in the dying minutes of the game, Daniel Sakari, who was only making his way back into the team, spared Omotto’ blushes after the midfielder’s spot kick decision was saved. The right back, alert to the rebound, pounced and halved the deficit.
With the second consecutive win for Stars and a second consecutive loss for Sharks, City moved upto 9th place on the log as Sharks stayed fourth.