FLAT TUSKER: Thika United smash lifeless Kenyan football champions

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Monday, March 20th 2017 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
KENYA PREMIER LEAGUE (KPL) Thika United's Sammy Meja (left) fight it out with Sydney Ochieng of Tusker FC during KPL match at Thika Stadium on Sunday, March 19, 2017. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

Tusker’s stuttering start to the season continued yesterday after the Kenyan Premier League champions slumped to 2-0 defeat to hosts Thika United.

Goals from Eugene Mukangula and substitute Mwinyi Kibwana in either half is all that the milkmen needed to bounce back from their season opener defeat to Mathare United and inflict a second loss on the brewers, who have so far shipped seven goals from two league matches.

It was another evening of chasing shadows for the 11-time champions as Thika made them look so ordinary.

The result left Tusker coach George Nsimbe so frustrated that he walked out on a battery of journalists who were waiting to interview him.

Thika could have won by a bigger margin, but their profligacy in front of goal cost them with Joel Tatah and Salim Mzee the main culprits.

“We dominated the game, created many scoring chances but we were not clinical enough. All the same, that was a perfect bounce back from the boys,” said a delighted Thika coach James Nandwa.

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It took only three minutes for Mukangula to break the deadlock, beating Tusker goalkeeper David Okello with a header from Mzee’s delivery.

Mzee could have doubled the lead when he weaved through Tusker back line on the stroke of halftime, but he ballooned his shot with Okello only to beat.

Tata then set up Salim, but the latter miscued his shot in the box.

Tusker had a chance to equalise in the 55th minute but Eugene Asike’s free kick was cleared by the opposing defence before Mukangula’s free kick was saved by Okello.

Moments later, Kibwana’s curved free kick missed target by a whisker before Said Tsuma forced a fine save from Okello as Martin Kizza’s header landed in the hands of Thika keeper.

Tusker had another opportunity in the 72nd minute, but Jackson Macharia’s shot went wide.

The brewers were punished in the 80th minute when Kibwana pounced on Benson Irigi’s delivery to chip the ball over the advancing Tusker keeper.

Mukangala could have made it 3-0 two minutes later but he scuffed his shot in the box with the goalkeeper only to beat.