NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 20 – Jackson Macharia’s lone goal in the second half was enough to send Tusker FC to second on the Football Kenya Federation Premier League log after the Brewers edged out 10-man Vihiga United 1-0 at the Moin International Sports Centre Kasarani on Sunday.
The positive results for the Robert Matano side saw Tusker continue with their fine form, picking their third victory in a row with this outcome coming after sinking champions Gor Mahia 2-1.
Tusker, the 11-time league champions are slowly finding their grove back and they now occupy the second position on 10 points, two behind leaders Kenya Commercial Bank who have a match at hand.
For Vihiga United, who earned promotion back to the top flight league, they are 13th in the standings after only managing one win and losing the other three matches in the four games they have played so far.
Macharia netted the all-important goal in the 61st minute after Boniface Muchiri floated in a cross from the left flank to find Luke Namanda at the far post who in turn headed in down for Macharia to easily tap home and send Tusker ahead.
Vihiga United, who were the home team, started off well, enjoying ball possession and in the 22nd minute, they saw their shot blocked by Tusker defender Rogers Aloro who unfortunately collided with his keeper Robert Mboya.
Tusker was forced to make an early change after injured Mboya could not go on and he was replaced by second choice keeper Emery Mvuyekure who was tested with almost immediate effect by Vihiga forward Norman Werunga to parry the shot on the right side of the post for a fruitless corner.
Tusker were the better side in the last five minutes to the break when David Majak dribbled past two defenders to lay the ball up for Muchiri but the keeper was quicker off his line to clear the danger as both sides shared spoils at half time.
On resumption, Tusker made a change by substituting George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo and Apollo Otieno for experienced midfielder Humphrey Mieno and Namada.
The change re energised the home team and in the 62nd minute, they could have doubled when youngster Majak did everything well at the edge of the box to unleash a right footed rocket but his effort was punched away by the keeper.
On the other end, six minutes later, Mvuyekure came to Tusker’s rescue when he made a super reflex to parry away Dennis Wafula’s shot.
Matano made a double substitution this time going for attack after introducing Chris Ochieng and Henry Meja for Muchiri and Majak respectively.
Meja nearly became the hero of the day after she was set up by Macharia but he was hacked down at the edge of the box by a Vihiga United defender who was sent off for a second yellow.
The set-piece did not fine the target but all was good for Tusker as they sealed the win.