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Nzoia Sugar lacks respect for champions Tusker

Newly promoted Kenya Premier League Nzoia United humiliated defending champion Tusker in the opening match on Saturday afternoon at Afraha stadium, Nakuru.

Without show of respect for the reigning champions, Nzoia managed to beat Tusker 5-2.

Tusker’s Noah Wafula opened the score with 9th minute goal before former Nakuru All Stars Elvis Rupia canceled the score on 22nd minute for 1-1 draw.

Rupia doubled the score for Nzoia for 2-1 from a 41st penalty before the break.

Shafik Batambuze free kick two minutes into the second half had the game tied at 2-2 but a Brian Otieno brace coming in the 51st and 64th minutes, and Bonface Omondi’s effort in the 79th minute left the champions truly cornered.

Nzoia went to the game as clear underdogs but showed early intent with their running game from the onset. Two minutes in they should have taken the lead but Rupia sent a sitter agonizingly wide with Tusker keeper well beaten.

Several near misses followed in the ensuing minutes, including a call for what seemed a sure penalty, but when the ball got to the other end, former Timsales, Finlays and AFC Leopards winger Wafula sliced through the rather unprepared Nzoia defense to cooly slam home a low shot to the far right for the opening goal.

That however did not deter the Bernard Mwalala coached Nzoia who revisited their game plan and from their consistent high press, won a free kick from 22 yards out. A curler found Rupia at the far post and the man who topped scored for Allstars in 2016 with 12 goals headed home the leveler.

As the game wore on it is Nzoia that dictated the pace over an assuming Tusker and in yet another raid at Tusker goal won a penalty after Samuel Olwande was adjudged to have brought down a Nzoia forward. Wafula’s spot rose to the far right corner well past Ochieng for the Sudi boys to take the lead.

After Batambuze’s leveling long range free kick in the 47th minute, Nzoia needed just six minutes to respond and it came off a corner kick that found Otieno at the far end; he tapped home for a two goal cushion then followed it up with a bullet header four minutes after the hour mark.

It then came down to Omondi who curled home a corner kick that sent keeper Ochieng back peddling with the ball into his own net.

Tusker had a chance to reduce the arrears but an awarded penalty with five minutes left was saved by hawk eyed Nzoia keeper Benson Mangala.

 

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