By Ibrahim Adolwa
Nzoia Sugar FC continued their quest to clinch the Kenya Premier League title by beating fellow title contenders Tusker by a solitary goal at Sudi stadium on Saturday.
In a match that the Millers dominated the proceedings, they still had to thank their inform keeper and skipper Humphrey Katasi, who spared them blushes by producing wonderful saves to deny the visitors.
The hosts began brightly, getting two successive corner kicks due to the sustained pressure in the Tusker goal, with Kevin Juma creating a massive scoring opportunity when his defence splitting pass landed to James Kibande in the 9th minute. However, the attacker’s shot went agonizingly wide.
In the 12th Minute, Lawrence Luvanda almost gave the visitors the leak, but miscued his shot when well placed to beat Katasi, this resulting to a rapid counter attack, where both Joseph Mwangi and Kibande were brilliantly denied by Levin Odhiambo’s last ditch tackles.
However, in the 21st minute, Hassan Beja weaved past a couple of Tusker defenders and when he was about to fire home, he was brought down in the area. Kibande stood up and wrong footed Brian Bwire from the ensuing spot kick to give the hosts the lead, which they kept till the break.
The second half, unlike the first, was seemingly a cagey affair, with both team disrupting the flow of the game with a number of fouls, with Yassin Sije crafting a rare chance in the 55th minute.
Coaches of both team looked to the bench with an aim of restoring the spark experienced in the first half. At one point, Tusker gaffer Robert Matano did a quadruple of changes, and a further change two minutes later, while his counterpart Salim Babu ringing three changes, but none made a difference.
There was some late drama, with Katasi acrobatically saving Macharia’s goal bound shot in the 80th minute. Four minutes later the Brewers’ attacker had the ball in the net past Katasi. However, the referee disallowed the goal, since Katasi had been fouled in the process.
The win takes Nzoia to 51 points, three off second placed Tusker and five off league leaders Gor Mahia. Nzoia take on Posta Rangers in their next match.