Rude welcome for Apollo as Chemelil crashes Tusker
Tunataka Apollo! Tunataka Apollo! [We want Apollo! We want Apollo!].
These were the chants that rent the air in the second half as Chemelil Sugar handed its former player Apollo Otieno, now with Tusker, a rude welcome. His new side came tumbling down in the season opener courtesy of a 2-0 scoreline on Saturday 3rd February at the Chemelil Complex. The fans wishes were however not served as he did not play a role in the match.
Chemelil Sugar started the match on a high but it almost became dangerous for Tusker keeper Okello after colliding with Muchuma in a goalmouth melee. Okello however received attention and play resumed soon after. The hosts dominated the starting 10 minutes of the match with constant attacks but the visitors managed to stabilize the game pushing through Timothy Otieno but Waw in Chemelil goal remained alert.
Chemelil however remained dangerous with a well curled in free kick by Yussuf was punched back to play after Lavatsa fouled Onyango just outside the 18-yard box. Sempala got the first caution of the match soon after for tackling Faraj dangerously. Wahome soon got a chance from a corner but his hard placed shot flew inches wide but Muchiri sustained the pressure though his efforts were fruitless as he was well handled by Clifford Omondi with a well timed tackle.
Omondi was awarded for diligent service in the first half netting the opener in the 33rd minute connecting perfectly at the near post with a well curved in corner by Yusuf Juma. This irked Tusker who dashed to attack in droves and almost snatched an equalizer through Timothy Otieno but Waw was still alert. Waw proved Chemelil’s savior in the first half with key saves most notable being the 36th minute melee after a miscommunication with John Kwol but Benjamin Oketch was at hand to clear the danger. He was also key with a brilliant reflex in the dying minutes of the first half, stopping a Timothy Otieno pinpoint shot from a Lavatsa cross.
Tusker fought hard to recover in the second half with a shot in target by Amos Asembeka being deflected by Omondi for a corner but Muchiri's kick went begging after the referee pointed at an infringement in the box. Chemelil should have stretched their lead in the 55th minute but Maxwell Onyango sent in a feeble shot from a Collins Netto cross with keeper Okello well beaten.
The hosts remained solid in defence but the Brewers almost equalized in the 60th minute after Macharia crashed his header onto the upright before Waw dealt with the danger. Tusker however paid with their lives for the misses after Philip Muchuma headed in moments later from a similar move on the opposite end to hand Chemelil a second goal and and safer scoreline.
Not even the introduction of experienced Nzuki and Khamati could salvage the situation for the Ruaraka based former champions as their hosts played long balls with Faraj Odeny's shot bouncing off the woodwork with Okello well beaten. Excited Chemelil fans, now on their feet, demanded for the introduction of former players Apollo Otieno by Tusker as they maintained resilience. Timothy Otieno found himself boxed by Chemelil defenders, a move that seemed to have dealt a blow to the Tusker attack plan.
At the end of it, a fuming Sam Timbe walked straight to the team bus without a word as the hosts cheered in jubilation.
Chemelil Starting XI: John Wau, Wesonga Kelvin, Juma Yussuf, Kwol John, Okech Benjamin, Kyata Peter, Omondi Clifford, Odeny Faraj, Netto Collins [Okiya Charles], Muchuma Philip [Adebayor Mustapha], Onyango Maxwell [Jacob Mwamlangada,]
Unused Sub: Aimo Richard, Odhiambo Kennedy, Mahiga Vincent, Bliss Kityo,
Tusker Starting XI: David Okello, Marlon Tangauzi, Eric Ambunya, Bonventure Khasabuli, Lloyd Wahome(C), Hashim Sempala, Edwin Lavatsa, Amos Asembeka [Michael Khamati], Timothy Otieno, Jackson Macharia [Peter Nzuki], Boniface Muchiri
Unused Subs: Duncan Ochieng, Collins Shivachi, Eugene Asike, Apollo Otieno, , Robert Achema