Relegation-threatened Chemelil Sugar survival chances received a major blow yesterday after succumbing 2-0 to 11-time champions Tusker in the SportPesa Premier League match at Ruaraka Stadium
It was a sour return for Chemelil head coach Francis Baraza, who left Ruaraka in April after a series of unwanted results. A goal in either half foiled his bid to serve his former employers with bitterness.
Prior to kick off, Robert Matano rung several changes to his side, summoning Robert Mboya to man the goal in place of suspended first choice goalkeeper Patrick Matasi. Erick Ambunya walked back to the team, dispensing David Gateri while Sydney Ochieng was preferred ahead of a misfiring David Juma.
Former Sony Sugar centre half Justin Omary put the brewers ahead in the 18th minute after tapping in a Boniface Muchiri free-kick, beating an advancing Richard Aimo. Muchiri would have had his name on the score-sheet two minutes later but his well curled kick swayed inches off the target.
A largely dull Chemelil had their first chance in the 43rd minute as Bernard Biko drilled a long range shot but Mboya proved equal to the challenge.
The millers resumed with more vigour but it was Jackson Macharia who assured Tusker of the three points in the 69th minute, lobbying the ball in an empty net after the goalkeeper punched Muchiri’s cross in his way.
Matano commended his players for the win. “It was a good game. We played well and I congratulate the players. We want to win the remaining matches and finish in the best rank possible.”
On the other hand, Baraza was confident of escaping relegation despite the loss. “I believe we will escape relegation. We will try our best and win the remaining matches. Our target today was to get at least a draw but we conceded from set pieces and we have to rectify that before our next match.”
Elsewhere, Kariobangi Sharks slapped a free-falling Thika with their sixth successive loss following their 3-0 win at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
Former Sony Sugar forward and Ugandan George Abege was on target barely two minutes into the game after Moses Mwangi picked him with a pin-point cross.
The game seemed headed to a 1-0 score-line until Duke Abuya doubled the scores in the 84th minute before Erick Kapaito made it three at stoppage time after sending Allan Owiny the wrong way from the spot.
Meanwhile George Maelo was the hero as Sofapaka redeemed themselves from disappointing two successive defeats after he netted the lone goal to grant his side a 1-0 win over Posta Rangers at Camp Toyoyo.