Thika — Mathare United’s relegation nightmare grew bigger on Sunday after suffering a 2-1 loss at the hands of Wazito FC on a day that fellow strugglers Vihiga United picked up a 2-0 win over Western Stima in Nakuru.
Sunday’s results mean Vihiga have opened up a five point gap away from bottom side Mathare with seven rounds of matches left.
In Thika, after a good first half where they had most of the chances, Mathare were undone by a quick brace scored within two minutes by Vincent Oburu who had come off the bench in the second half.
The struggling Mathare had most of the chances in the opening half but poor finishing as well as astute goalkeeping from Peter Odhiambo kept Wazito in the game.
In the 17th minute, Mathare had a golden chance presented to them when a poor pass at the back landed on John Mwangi. However, the forward took too much time with the ball with only the keeper at his mercy, allowing Maurice Ojwang to race back and tackle him as he prepared to pull the trigger.
In the 25th minute, defender David ‘Cheche’ Ochieng almost scored a worldie. Mathare won a freekick from deep in their own half and Ochieng picked the ball quick. Citing keeper Odhiambo off his line he went for goal but the custodian tracked back and tipped the ball behind for a corner.
Mathare kept pushing Wazito in their own half and they had another chance in the 32nd minute off a set piece. Kennedy Ochieng stood behind the ball, curled it beyond the wall but keeper Odhiambo parried the ball away.
The keeper made another brilliant save 10 minutes later from another set piece, this time Cheche stepping up from 25 yards. Once again, a full stretched Odhiambo kept Wazito in the game.
The home side could have sneaked in a goal at the stroke of halftime but Okello made a good save with his feet, stretching out to tap away a shot from Kevin Kimani who was left isolated on the right.
But, the game turned on its head in the second half with the introduction of Oburu for Whyvonne Isuza. The left footed forward scored the opener just nine minutes after coming on, heading the ball beyond David Okello from Levin Odhiambo’s cross.
Just two minutes later, the forward completed his brace with a low volley inside the box after Kimani’s freekick was defended to his path.
But, Mathare kept the fight to try get something off the game and two minutes after going down, they halved the deficit. Cheche scored in similar fashion to Oburu’s second goal, volleying the ball home after Danson Kago headed down Norman Ogolla’s cross from the right.
The slum boys were motivated by the goal and pushed Wazito in search of an equalizer. They came close in the 77th minute when Ochieng’s cross from the right found an unmarked Chris Oduor at the backpost, but the substitute’s connection was over.
They came very close with four minutes left, keeper Odhiambo making a great save to push the ball onto the bar from James Kinyanjui’s header.
Despite concerted efforts, Mathare’s fight came to nothing.