Title candidates, Bandari FC, began their hunt for their first ever Kenyan Premier League title with a 2-2 draw against Nairobi City Stars in a closely-contested and at times a tempestuous game at the Nyayo Stadium, Thursday evening.
The traveling Dockers came from behind twice to salvage a point against Bobby Ogolla’s well-drilled outfit.
Oscar Mbugua gave City Stars the opener barely four minutes into the match, scoring from 18 yards after a sweeping move on the right hand side.
However, the traveling Dockers were behind for only 10 minutes as Anthony Kimani leveled the scores at the quarter hour mark following a goalmouth melee. City Stars keeper Ronnie Kagunzi appeared to have grabbed the ball but it slipped off his hands and into the back of the net.
The hosts kept on pressing in pursuit of their second goal. They looked dangerous on the break with the pace of Jimmy Bagaye especially a concern on the Edwin Wafula’s right flank.
After withstanding the pressure, Bandari’s wall was finally breached just before the half hour mark when Bagaye slammed the ball home past Wilson Obungu after a lovely one-two with his Ugandan counterpart Peter Musiime .
It could have been 3-1 six minutes later but Bagaye missed from close range after being set up by Ezekiel Odera.
After the interval
The second half was full of drama as with both the technical benches crying foul about some of the decisions made.
Bandari especially felt singled out for discrimination when Kimani’s 55th minute goal was disallowed by referee David Mulongo who indicated it should have been an indirect freekick.
Two minutes later, however, Twahir Muhiddin’s side leveled matters from the spot after a City Stars defender handled the ball inside the box. Kimani stepped forward and drilled home past Kagunzi who dived the wrong way.
Mude sent off
A moment of madness was witnessed in the 75th minute when two Ugandans Musa Mudde (Bandari) and Bagaye were involved in physical brawl with Mudde coming off worse as he got sent off while Bagaye escaped with a yellow card.
The match descended into a physical showdown with Bagaye and Edwin Wafula the two protagonists.
City Stars could have grabbed a late winner but second half substitute Benson Iregi failed to beat Obungu on a one-on-one situation.
Nairobi City Stars Starting XI: Ronny Kagunzi, Davies Ikocheli, Clavin Masawa, Luis Masika, John Amboko, Arthur Museve, Oscar Mbugua, Peter Musiime, Yusuf Suf, Jimmy Bageya, Ezekiel Omulo.
Subs: Fredrick Majani, Robert Ndungu, Joseph Sakwa, Peter Mwangi, Oliver Maloba, Daniel Otieno, Benson Iregi
Bandari Starting XI: Wilson Oburu (GK) (c), Edwin Wafula, Duncan Otewa, Mohamed Shariff, Mulumba Felly, Mudde Musa, Edwin Lavatsa, Bernard Mangoli, Dan Sserunkuma, Anthony Kimani, George Abege
Subs: Joseph Okoth, Humphrey Okoti, Hamis Tole, David Gateri, Shabaan Kenga, Meshack Karani, Kingatua David
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