Last updated 10 months ago | By Rodgers Eshitemi
Big spenders Wazito were given a reality check on their return to the Kenyan Premier League after being frustrated to a 1-1 draw by youthful Nzoia Sugar in yesterday’s season opener at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
Parading an experienced squad comprising the likes of former Gor Mahia defender Karim Nizigiyimana, Kenyan Internationale Johnstone Omurwa and Ugandan import Matthew Odongo many expected the Fred Ambani coached side to stroll to an easy victory.
However, that never came to pass as the youthful Bungoma-based side with over seven KPL debutantes gave them a run for their money.
And it was former Nzoia man Elvis Rupia, who had to come off the bench, to save their blushes with a 70th minute equaliser from the spot.
The millers had taken the lead through Collins Wakhungu’s tap in from Robert Arrot’s brilliant delivery in the 54th minute. The opener came moments after Rupia’s goal had been ruled offside.
Though disappointed, Wazito technical director Stanley Okumbi was glad to pick up a point as he justified their big off season spending.
“For me it is simple. Signings don’t win matches because other teams also made signings. For your information, we just signed players to replace those who were in the National Super League,” Okumbi said.
“We knew Nzoia would play a compact game and that’s exactly what they did. They achieved their target. For us, a draw is better than a loss. We had planned for a win, but unfortunately, we didn’t get it. KPL is a tight league, it is not the way people are talking about the signings.”
But for Nzoia coach Collins Omondi, his side was motivated by Wazito owner Ricardo Badoer’s comments on social media.
“From Wazito owner’s post on social media, Wazito had won the game even before we play and that’s exactly what motivated us,” said Omondi.