By Steve Ayoo (@Steifmaster88)
Mathare United made a winning start to their 2018-19 Kenyan Premier League season with a 2-0 victory over visiting Chemelil Sugar at the Kasarani Stadium, Saturday afternoon.
Two early first half strikes from Cliff Nyakeya and Clifford Alwanga proved decisive despite the Slum Boys being reduced to 10 men during the last 12 minutes, keeper Job Ochieng having been sent off for a foul outside the box.
It took Mathare only four minutes to open their goal account as Nyakeya slotted home at the second time of asking, his penalty effort having been only slightly dealt with by Chemelil keeper Bernard Onunga who conceded the foul.
It was 2-0 just seven minutes later, Alwanga powering home a header from an inch-perfect cross from new acquisition and old boy Kevin Kimani.
Daniel Mwaura wasted two glorious opportunities to extend Mathare’s lead further while Johnstone Omurwa had a goal ruled out for offside as the hosts bossed the opening interval, limiting their visitors to half chances.
The second half presented even more goalscoring chances for Mathare but they were wasted in their abandon although Chemelil keeper Onunga must receive some credits for pulling off some outstanding stops.
The visitors were handed an opportunity to at least get a consolation goal when Mathare keeper Ochieng received his marching orders after cluttering on Lucas Waitere outside his box.
David Okello assumed the goalkeeping duties with Alwanga being sacrificed and the former Harambee Stars call-up kept a clean sheet for the 10 odd minutes as the Slum Boys won 2-0.
Also winning on the opening day were newcomers Western Stima who beat Posta Rangers by Wesley Kemboi’s solitary goal.
Title holders Gor Mahia were beaten 2-1 at Bandari FC while KCB made their topflight return with a 1-0 loss at Kakamega Homeboyz.