Sunday, May 6 – 4:15p.m Local time at Camp Toyoyo, Nairobi County, Kenya
Mathare United will be hoping to close the gap on leaders Gor Mahia when they lineup against Kariobangi Sharks on Sunday afternoon in the Kenyan Premier League.
The Slum boys’ trip to Camp Toyoyo comes on the back end of a beguiling 2-2 draw with K’Ogalo in their last Premier League outing.
The match hogged plenty of headlines for being a potential title decider, given the standout performances that have set both clubs head and shoulder above other outfits in the KPL.
Mathare United had led the Premier League log for much of the season until two consecutive losses against Posta Rangers and Wazito FC allowed Gor to leapfrog them for the top spot.
With Francis Kimanzi keen on avoiding yet another slump that could allow Gor Mahia to emerge as the breakout favorites to the crown, Mathare started off with an attacking resolve that saw them grab the lead in the 15th minute courtesy of Francis Omondi.
The midfielder curled a sublime free-kick over the K’Ogalo wall and into the back of the net, but Mathare’s insouciant nature at the back, that has proved a thorn in the side, had them chasing the game at the break.
It began when David Owino was punished for a rash challenge on Jacques Tuyisenge inside the box; one that had the reigning champions awarded a penalty. The Rwanda international, as so often this season, made so mistakes as he thumped the leather into the back of the net despite Tom Mboya getting a hand on it.
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Gor began to grow into the game after the equalizer, but it was yet again Mathare’s defensive fragilities that saw them go behind. Tuyisenge scored a scrappy goal to double the visitors’ advantage five minutes before the break, after a howler by Mboya gave rise to a melee in the Mathare box.
Gor Mahia looked on course to their first victory over Mathare United in three matches, but the Slum boys stopped them in their tracks with a hard earned equalizer four minutes to stoppage time.
Clifford Alwanga got on the finishing end of Martin Ongori’s cross to level the scores with a thumping header after outwitting the Mayienga defense, bringing a close to the emotionally charged affair.
The draw ensured Kimanzi’s boys are still second on the standing with 24 points, but a worrying three points adrift of K’Ogalo who will have three Premier League games in hand by the end of the weekend due to their participation in the CAF Confederation Cup.
Although Mathare United have proved a liability at the back, Kariobangi Sharks will certainly struggle to break the former KPL champions. Sharks have only won two of their last nine League games, drawing a staggering five times and losing twice; a result that has them eleventh on the log with 16 points- 8 points behind their opponents for the weekend.
Mathare United vs Kariobangi match prediction
Newly promoted Kariobangi Sharks took the League by storm last season after finishing third in the Kenyan Premier League behind Sofapaka and eventual winners Gor Mahia.
The Kariobangi outfit however just can’t seem to be finding the goals in the current campaign, whilst Mathare have seemingly resolved to make the adventurous approach of outscoring their opponents.
It may not win them the League, as attack wins games and defense wins titles, but it will most assuredly see them over the line against weaker opposition.
Prediction: Mathare United to win @ WilliamHill.com
Mathare United vs Kariobangi Sharks recent results
Mathare United 1-2 Kariobangi Sharks (May 9, 2017)
Chrispin Oduor 27′
Timothy Omwenga 65′
Juma Masoud 77′
Kariobangi Sharks 3-0 Mathare United (September 13, 2017)
Duke Abuya 15′
Ovella Ochieng 81′
Juma Masoud 89′
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