Nairobi City Stars put in a stellar second-half show to beat Bandari FC 2-0 in a Betking Premier League match staged at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani on Friday afternoon.
Bandari was by far the better side in the first stanza but the hosts managed to fend off pressure from the Dockers and in the second half former Bandari midfielder Anthony Kimani opened the scoring before Bandari captain Bernard Odhiambo put the ball into his own net to seal the win for City Stars.
Led by their attacking trio of Abdallah Hassan, William Wadri, and Yema Mwana, Bandari started the match strongly in search of an early opener. Their efforts were however thwarted by City Stars defenders led by towering central defense pair of Abdallah Shittu and Kennedy Onyango.
The hosts resorted to deep defending and tried to hurt Bandari on the break. Davis Agesa and Oliver Maloba in particular looked dangerous on the counter but they failed to utilize the few opportunities they got.
Bandari were forced to make a change just after the half-hour mark through injury. Experienced midfielder David King’atua was taken off for team captain Shaban Kenga.
Despite creating a couple of descent goal-scoring chances, both teams failed to utilize them and the first stanza ended in a barren stalemate.
Six minutes into the second half the Dockers thought they had taken the lead through Yema Mwana when the Congolese connected to a Shaban Kenga delivery from the right. Replays however showed that his header did not cross the line.
Four minutes later, City Stars took the lead through Captain Anthony Kimani. The midfielder was set up by Jimmy Bageya who had been introduced a couple of minutes earlier and he did well to beat Justin Ndikumana on Bandari goal.
Eight minutes later, Simba wa Nairobi got a second through a Bernard Odhiambo own goal. City Stars winger Davis Agesa delivered a cross into the area from the right flank and Odhiambo’s outstretched leg connected beating Ndikumana.
Despite the visitors’ late pressure, the Kawangware based side held on to claim three precious points.
The win takes City Stars joint top with six points. Bandari on the other hand remain fifth with four points.
Starting lineup: Steve Njunge (GK), Herit Mungai Atariza, Kenedy Onyango, Salim Abdalla, Azizi Okaka (86′ Vincent Otieno Okoth), Peter Opiyo, Sven Yidah, Timothy Ouma (53’ Ezekiel Odera), Anthony Kimani (74′ Elvis Noor Ojiambo), Oliver Maloba (53’ Jimmy Bageya), Davis Agesa (86′ Edwin Buliba)
Unused subs: Elvis Ochoro (GK), Rodgers Okumu, Calvin Masawa
Starting XI: Justin Ndikumana (GK), Nicholas Meja (79’ Darius Msagha) Mohammed Siraj (79’Hamid Mohammed), Brian Otieno, Collins Agade, Hassan Abdallah, Wilberforce Lugogo (64’ Danson Chetambe), Yema Mwana (64’ Johanna Mwita) David King’atua (35’ Shaban Kenga ), William Wadri
Unused Subs: Michael Wanyika, Swaleh Chacha, Dennis Magige, Dan Guya, Alphonse Washe, Benjamin Mosha, Keegan Ndemi
Match commissioner- Dorcas Moraa
Cneter referee-Josiah Awiti
1st Assistant referee-Victor Sittuk
2nd Assistant referee-Emmanuel Barasa
Reserve referee-Moses Simiyu