Gichana's late strike denies Nzoia Sugar in Kericho
Geoffrey Gichana's equalizer two minutes from time helped Zoo salvage a point against Nzoia Sugar in an entertaining Kenyan Premier League match staged at Kericho Green Stadium on Wednessy 11 October; the match ended in a two all draw.
Lawrence Juma opened the scoring for the visitors in the 30th minute curling home a superb free-kick. The hosts responded 13 minutes later through Danson Namasaka who scored with equally a beautiful free-kick. Just before the the break Nzoia skipper Vincent Ngesa restored his team's lead heading home after Zoo keeper parried a Brian Otieno attempt to his path. Geoffey Gichana drew Zoo level two minutes from time to ensure spoils were shared.
Nzoia started the game strongly and had a go on goal as early as the first minute but Edger Nzano's effort was cleared by Zoo skipper Johnstone Ligare, Lawrence Juma had another attempt three minutes later but Zoo keeper Richard Omboko was equal to the task.
Zoo managed to contain the millers' early pressure and had a sniff on Nzoia goal in the 11th minute when Mike Madoya floated the ball into the area, his target Nicholas Kipkirui went down in the area from a challenge but the ref turned down Zoo's appeals for a spot kick. Bernard Odhiambo fired at Nzoia goal from 20 yards out in the 18th minute but his shot missed the target narrowly.
Madoya penalty miss
A reckless tackle from Steve Wakanya on Nicholas Kipkirui in the 25th minute won Zoo a penalty, Mike Madoya stepped up sending Mustapha Oduor the wrong way but his kick came off the upright much to the disappointment of Zoo faithfuls who had turned out in large numbers for the game.
They were made to pay for the miss instantly when Nzoia took the lead through Lawrence Juma at the half hour mark through a set piece. Skipper Johnstone Ligare fouled Victor Omondi at the edge of the area and Lawrence Juma stepped up beating Omboko on Zoo goal with a stunning free-kick. The millers looked dangerous going forward after the opener with Juma orchestrating all their attacks.
Two goals in two minutes marked the end of an entertaining first half; Danson Namasaka drew Zoo level with a stunning free-kick in the 43rd from the edge of the area but the hosts were pegged back two minutes later when Vincent Ngesa headed home Nzoia's second after Zoo keeper Omboko parried Brian Otieno's header to his path.
Zoo started the second half strongly pushing for an equaliser, Kipkirui forced forced save from Oduor while sub Kepha Ondati saw his attempt go narrowly wide early on.
Kipkirui double chance
They continued pressing Nzoia who opted to sit back and absorb pressure. Kipkirui's header missed the target the target narrowly in the 64th minute and seven minutes later, a Ngesa goal-line clearance denied the Kenyan international who had left Nzoia keeper Oduor for the dead.
Kepha Ondati's superb block denied Nzoia forward Patrick Kwitonda what looked like an obvious goal six minutes from time. The attacker controlled a Lawrence Juma defence spliting pass before unleashing a shot which was blocked by the midfielder. Gichana equalizer
Zoo's pressure finally paid off when Geoffrey Gichana equalized with a fine finish two minutes from time after being teed by Kipkirui to earn his side a precious point.
Starting XI: 21 Richard Omboko, 6 Johnstone Ligare, 24 Gedion Kibet, 39, Domnic Ouma, 12 Isaac Kipyegon, Dennis Otieno, 18 Geoffrey Gichana, 5 Michael Madoya (56' Kepha Ondati) 16 Danson Namasaka (80' Ernest Kipkoech) 22 Nicholas Kipkirui, 10 Bernard Odhiambo
Unused subs: 1 Samuel Koko, 31 Stanlaus Akiya, 44 Hamidu Kwizera, 36 Martin Oile, Kelvin Oduor.
Nzoia starting XI: 23.Mustapha Oduor 26.Festus Okiring 16.Hillary Wandera 28. Brian Otieno 34. Vincent Ngesa (C) 02. Stephen Wakanya 12.Luke Namanda(70' Patrick Kwitonda) 24.Lawrence Juma 32.Victor Omondi 08.Edger Nzano ( 90'Ronack Otieno) 21.Brian Yakhama (64' Elvis Rupia)
Unused subs: 15.Humphrey Katasi 14.Edwin Wafula , 03.Collins Odawa 13.Dennis Ongeri