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Bandari beat Gor Mahia 2-1 as Homeboyz give KCB rude welcome back to SportPesa Premier League

FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi | December 8th 2018
Left winger Kevin Kimani of Mathare United FC drible against Chemelil FC during KPL match at Kasarani Stadium on Saturday Dec 8, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Champions Gor Mahia docked in Mombasa

Gor Mahia's defence of their SportPesa Premier League title got off to a disappointing start after falling 2-1 to Bandari in Mombasa on Saturday.

Elsewhere Kenyan international Kevin Kimani made a dream return to Mathare United providing an assist as the 10-man Slum Boys beat Chemelil Sugar 2-0 at Kasarani Stadium.

William Wadri broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime before David King'atua doubled the lead for Bandari in the 53rd minute.

Nicholas Kipkirui's debut goal midway through the second half couldn't salvage a point for Hassan Oktay on his first league match in charge as K'Ogalo coach

Duncan Otewa (left) of Bandari FC controls the ball under presure from Batambize Sahfik (right) of Gor Mahia FC during the opening of the 2019 Sportpesa Kenya Premier League match at the Mbarak Sports Club in Mombasa, December 8, 2018. [PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

Max Ravel's strike is all that Kakamega Homeboyz needed to give 10-man KCB a rude welcome to the topflight football at Bukhungu Stadium. It was a different result for Western Stima as they stunned Posta Rangers in Nakuru.

It was the type of performance Francis Kimanzi expected from the experienced Kimani on return to his boyhood club after a five-year sojourn.

"We needed a positive result and I'm happy we got it. We brought Kimani back because of his healthy statics in terms of assists, passes and goals. He's a gifted and technical player who will play a key role in our campaign," Kimanzi told Standard Sports.

Cliff Nyakeya gave Mathare an early lead in the fifth minute when he scored on the rebound after his penalty had been saved by goalkeeper Benard Onunga. Mathare earned the penalty after Onunga hacked down the reigning midfielder of the year in the box.

Ten minutes later, Clifford Alwanga doubled the lead after he leapt highest in the millers' box to head home Kimani's corner kick. But they were reduced to ten-men in the 80th minute after goalkeeper Job Ochieng was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Lucas Waitere outside the area.

Nyakeya could have made it 3-0 after dribbling past his marker from the right flank, but blasted a glorious chance wide with the keeper only to beat.

Nicholas Akoko thought he had pulled a goal back for the visitors in the 25th minute only for his well executed 20 yards shot to go painfully over the bar.

Mathare custodian Ochieng then came off his line to stop Levis Okello from scoring before Johnstone Omurwa's goal was ruled offside in the opposite end.

Moments later, Chemelil earned a free kick in a promising position after James Situma handled the ball, but Akoko's attempt was blocked by the wall.

William Wandari from Bandari FC runs away as he celebrates after scoring for his team's their first goal when they played against Gor Mahia FC during the opening of the 2019 Sportpesa Kenya Premier League match at the Mbarak Sports Club in Mombasa, December 8, 2018. [PHOTO BY GIDEON MAUNDU/STANDARD].

The hosts responded immediately but Kimani missed a free header from Roy Okal's delivery before Chemelil keeper pulled off  a fine save from Situma's effort on the stroke of halftime.

Nyakeya would force a superb save from Onunga two minutes into second half before Daniel Mwaura effort hit the left post.

Mathare continue pressing, but Alwanga squandered an opportunity grab a brace with a horrible finish after being freed in the box. Onunga then made another perfect block to deny the former Tusker man his second goal of the game.

But Mathare had to play the last ten minutes one man less after their keeper was given his marching orders for a dangerous tackle on Lucas Waitere outside the box. This forced Kimanzi to sacrifice Alwanga for veteran David Okello as Kimani paved way for Ahmad Ahmed.

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