A Elvis Rupia Penalty was all that Wazito FC needed to share the spoils with millers Nzoia Sugar in a KPL match played at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos
Kenya Premier League moneybags Wazito FC marked a return to topflight football with a thrilling clash against millers Nzoia Sugar at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
Wazito’s stand in coach Stanley Okumbi named a strong side for the clash with the technical director who took charge of things following the absence of head coach Fred Ambani handing debuts to five new wazito signings.
Nzoia Sugar also named a strong squad and this paid off as the Millers commanded the proceedings of the game in the first half and should have atleast scored two goals in that period. Nzoia’s main man upfront, Collins Wakhungu was a constant threat to the Wazito defence and should have given the millers the lead in the 13th minute after a great Nzoia move saw him have a go on goal only to be stopped by keeper Kevin Omondi.
Nzoia came close to breaking the deadlock again in the 27th minute through Leonard Kasembeli who had his shot hit the post.
Wazito responded almost immediately in the 30th minute with a great move but could not find the much needed goal after Derrick Onyango’s snap shot was saved by Nzoia keeper, Humphrey Katasi.
The match was balanced heading into the break with the tie remaining goalless. In the second half, Wazito introduced former Nzoia Sugar and Power Dynamos man Elvis Rupia who came in for Mathew Odongo. After his introduction, Wazito went close twice, first through captain Joe who had his curler go narrowly wide before Katasi denied Johnstone Omurwa from close range.
Nzoia finally took the lead in the 53rd minute through Collins Wakhungu who connected well a Robert Arrot cross into the net. The goal came as a wake up call for Wazito who were forced to make a double change with former Sony Sugar men Derrick Otanga and Joshua Nyatini coming in for Mike Oduor and Brian Musa. The Millers also made their first change with Abraham Kipkogei coming on for Boris Kwezi.
Wazito’s second half changes paid dividends in the 71st Minute when they were awarded a Penalty after Chris Wesamba handled the ball inside the penalty area. Elvis Rupia stepped up and sent keeper Katasi the wrong way to bring Wazito level.
The goal added more life to the match. Nzoia were forced to make two changes in the dying minutes of the game with Ian Karani coming in for Chris Wesamba who got injured. James Kibande on the other hand came in for Robert Arrot but either side could not get the winning goal forcing them to share the spoils in their first League match of the season.
Starting XI: Brian Omondi (GK), Karim Nzigiyimana, Lloyd Wahome, Washington Munene, Johnstone Omurwa, Brian Musa, Amos Asembeka, Mike Oduor, Matthew Tayo, Joe Waithera, Derrick Onyango
Subs: Gad Matthew (GK), Paul Aquah, Ali Abondo, Joshua Nyatini, Derrick Otanga, Bernard Ochieng, Elvis Rupia
Starting XI: 15. Humphrey Katasi , 17. Brian Wepo , 16. Thomas Wainaina, 34. Chris Wesamba, 06. Rama Mwenda, 13. Kevin Juma, 22. Robert Abonga, 21. Robert Arrot , 09. Boris Kwezi, 32. Leonard Kasembeli, 07. Collins Wakhungu
Subs: 23. Faraji Kabali, 05. Ian Karani , 25. Dennis Wanjala, 11. Abraham Kipkogei, 03. Gaetan Masha, 20. Okanda Felicien, 18. James Kibande