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TUSKER'S TIPSY START: Nzoia crush champs as Bandari raid Nakumatt

FOOTBALL By Ben Ahenda and Ernest Ndunda | March 12th 2017
TUSKER FC Vs NZOIA SUGAR MEET AT AFRAHA Tusker FC Cassidy Okeyo tackles Nzoia sugar during the KPL in Afraha stadium where Tusker FC lost 5-2. PHOTO:STANDARD/MOSES KIPSANG

A week after losing 1-0 to Gor Mahia in the Super Cup finals, Kenyan Premier League (KPL) defending champions Tusker suffered another setback when they were given a sobering start to the league by Nzoia United.  KPL's new boys bottled Tusker five times as the league opening tie ended 5-2 at Afraha Stadium yesterday.

Tusker coach George ‘Best’ Nsimbe said his charges had underrated the sugar millers.

“My players had underrated Nzoia Sugar from the onset and what followed was the heavy defeat. However, we’re going back to the drawing to address those problems,” he told Feverpitch.

Nzoia coach Bernard Mwalala said it was a positive start but warned his players not to over-celebrate because there were more tougher matches ahead.

“It was a positive start but we cannot afford to start early celebrations,” he said.

Tusker who survived early raids by marauding Nzoia strikers in the opening minutes of the match drew the first blood on the eighth minute through Noah Wafula from a free kick.

Undeterred by the missed opportunities, Nzoia pressed on and their efforts were rewarded on the 22nd minute when Elvis Orupia tapped in the equaliser from a free-kick by Lawrence Juma.

That equaliser increased their match tempo as they were superb in aerial balls resulting in Tusker defender Samuel Olwande fouling striker Masita Masuta in the box and the referee did not hesitate to point to the spot in the 41st minute.

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Taking the resultant kick, Edwin Wafula made no mistake for a 2-1 half time lead.

After resumption, Tusker made a gallant fight back with Shafik Batambuze hitting the equaliser past Nzoia custodian Benson Mangala in the 47th minute via a well taken freekick.

Brian Otieno put the Western Kenya based team ahead before the brewers goalkeeper Duncan Ochieng gifted them with the fourth goal.

In Mombasa, Bandari squeezed a 1-0 win over visiting Nakumatt through Enock Agwanda

Both teams roamed the field freely with strikers from each side looking for early goals but in vain.

Bandari’s moment of note came in the 39th minute when Agwanda scored off Michael Luvutsi’s cross.

However, Agwanda had to be carried off the field immediately after the goal after he collided with goalkeeper Sammy Okinda.

Dan Sserenkuma came in for Agwanda while Timonah Wanyonyi came off for Joshua Oyoo for Nakumatt before the breather.

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