Nairobi City Stars players celebrate a second goal scored by Rodgers 'Ókuse' Okumu against Mathare United at Kasarani on Tue 2 March 2021. City Stars won the game 2-0
Nairobi City Stars players celebrate a second goal scored by Rodgers 'Ókuse' Okumu against Mathare United at Kasarani on Tue 2 March 2021. City Stars won the game 2-0

City Stars roar past Mathare United

Nairobi City Stars took down Mathare United 2-0 at Kasarani Annex in a belated round 14 Premier League game played on the afternoon of Tuesday 2 March 2021.

Maiden goals by left back Bolton Omwenga and a final one by flyer Rodgers Okuse Okumu on either half handed Simba wa Nairobi a third straight Premier League win.

Mathare United, who last payed City Stars back in 2016,  will feel hard done by the loss as they pinned the hosts for long spells with dominant attacking and wide play.

Just before the half hour mark Bolton received a short pass from Peter Pinchez Opiyo and with a long range floater beat Mathare keeper Job Ochieng who fluffed the dinking ball to his own net for the opener.

And right at the death, bench power saw City Stars double their lead when Okuse sliced through the Mathare backline to meet a cross from teenage sub Timothy Noor Ouma to fire at the far post. A finger tip on the ball from Ochieng in goal failed to stop the ball from rolling home.

Two minutes into the game Oliver Maloba received a cross from the left by Omwenga but he miscued the ball towards the right corner while within meters of goal.

Within the next ten minutes City Stars backline went to over drive to clear Mathare raids starting with a Bolton halt on James Kinyanjui before Kenedy Vidic Onyango forced out for dangerous ball for a corner that yielded two more that Mathare wasted.

16 minutes in, Sven Yidah skied a short pass from Maloba as City Stars put in a response to Mathare runs.

Minutes later the ball was back in City Stars box when Mathare’s Tyson Otieno – with a man of the match performance all through – fed Kinyanjui who blasted wide.

Moments later Ebrima Sanneh had two near misses after he broke into the box only to fire a shot across goal before powering a Kevin Chumsy Okumu freekick above bar.

Then the turning point came in the 28th minute when Omwenga directed a long range shot goalward to beat Ochieng in goal for his first City Stars goal.

Then came nervy moments that could have seen Mathare in the game with goals before half time. A Kiyanjui cross found James Mavado Mwangi who hit the side netting and not too long after Kinyanjui himself had a shot fired wide and one other tipped away by City Stars keeper Njunge as the game rolled to half time.

Within the restart after the break, Maloba was bullied off the ball after making a solo run in the box. Not too long after he had a shot from range fly just wide.

Then came a real chance for Mathare on the other end when half time substitute Dani Lual, on for Alphonse Ndonye, received the ball in the box only to fire across goal only for Bolton to clear it out before it was tapped home.

The chances continued to present themselves for either side till the final minute when Okuse sneaked past both stoppers Martin Werunga and Lennox Ogutu to add a second for City Stars for his first ever Premiership goal.

With the latest win City Stars shoots to the 19-point mark after 14 games to move up four places from 12th to eighth in the 18-team log.

Mathare United on their part remain 16th with nine points from 11 games.

Up next for Simba wa Nairobi is an away game against title chasing AFC Leopards on Saturday 6 March 2021 at Kasarani starting 3pm.

Lineups

Nairobi City Stars: 23. Steve Njunge (GK), 19. Kevin Okumu, 25. Kenedy Onyango, 4. Salim Abdalla, 26. Balton Omwenga, 18. Sven Yidah (3. Charles Otieno-83), 10. Peter Opiyo, 30. Anthony Kimani-Captain (7. Rodgers Okumu-67) 21. Oliver Maloba, 29. Ebrima Sanneh (20. Timothy Ouma-83), 24. Erick Ombija (11. Davis Agesa-60)

Unused subs: 1. Elvis Ochoro (GK), 32. Ezekiel Odera, 22. Wycliffe Otieno, 8. Calvin Masawa, 5. Wesley Onguso

Not considered: 6. Ronney Kola, 14. Rowland Makati (both on loan at Nairobi Stima), 12. Edwin Buliba, 15. John Kamau, 16. Jacob Osano, 27. Azizi Okaka, 9. Vincent Otieno Okoth, 28. Herit Mungai Atariza, 2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo

Coach: Sanjin Alagic

Mathare United: 30. Job Ochieng (GK), 20. Martin Ongori, 17. Martin Werunga, 23. Lennox Ogutu, 25. Norman Ogola, 29. Chris Oduor-Captain, 11. Tyson Otieno (15. Bonface Akenga-88), 8. Alphonse Ndonye (9. Dani Lual-46), 10. James Kinyajui, 13. John Mwangi (3. Khalid Jumaan-64), 27. Daniel Otieno (24. Klinsman Omulanga-79)

Unused subs: 1. David Okelo (GK), 7. Danson Kago, 19. Anthony Otieno, 12. David Simiyu, 6. Dennis Ochieng

Coach: Salim Ali

Yellow cards: 11. Tyson Otieno-37, 25. Norman Ogola-44 (Mathare United)//Bolton Omwenga-90 (Nairobi City Stars)

Goals: Bolton Omwenga-28, Rodgers Okumu-90 (Nairobi City Stars)

Match Officials: Maurice Matani (Match Comm), Davis Malungo (Centre Ref), Victor Shituku (AR1), George Mwangi (AR2), Wilson Otieno (4th Official)

Nairobi City Stars

Bolton Omwenga who scored his maiden goal for City Stars was named MVP after a mathc day 14 Premier League game against Mathare United. City Stars won 2-0

Nairobi City Stars players celebrate a second goal by Peter Opiyo as Simba wa Nairobi beat Western Stima at Moi Stadium on Wed 23 Feb 2021 in a round 13 Premier League game
Nairobi City Stars players celebrate a second goal by Peter Opiyo as Simba wa Nairobi beat Western Stima at Moi Stadium on Wed 23 Feb 2021 in a round 13 Premier League game

No change against Mathare United

The 20-man squad that travelled to Kisumu mid week to face Western Stima remains as is ahead of the upcoming game against Mathare United at Kasarani on Tuesday 2 March 2021 starting 3pm.

Head coach Sanjin Alagic has put faith in the same lot that delivered a 2-0 win over Western Stima on Wednesday for the upcoming round 14 Premier League tie.

The 20 will be contesting starting berths in the game that was pushed from Sunday to Tuesday to unavailability of a venue in Nairobi to host the game.

Utility Azizi Okaka, striker Vincent Otieno Jamaica Okoth, left back Herit Mungai Atariza are some of the players that will all sit out the Mathare game.

20-man squad to face Mathare United

Goal keepers: 1. Elvis Ochoro (GK), 23. Steve Njunge (GK),

Defenders: 26. Balton Omwenga, 5. Wesley Onguso, 25. Kenedy Onyango, 4. Salim Abdalla, 8. Calvin Masawa,19. Kevin Okumu, 22. Wycliffe Otieno,

Midfielders: 18. Sven Yidah, 30. Anthony Kimani,21. Oliver Maloba, 20. Timothy Noor Ouma, 3. Charles Otieno, 10. Peter Opiyo, 7. Rodgers Okumu,

Strikers: 29. Ebrima Sanneh, 32. Ezekiel Odera, 24. Erick Ombija, 11. Davis Agesa

Not considered: 6. Ronney Kola, 14. Rowland Makati (both on loan at Nairobi Stima), 12. Edwin Buliba, 2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo, 15. John Kamau, 16. Jacob Osano (GK), 27. Azizi Okaka, 9. Vincent Otieno Okoth, 28. Herit Mungai Atariza

Azizi Okaka on the run in a past Premier League game for Nairobi City Stars
Azizi Okaka on the run in a past Premier League game for Nairobi City Stars

Head to Head: Nairobi City Stars (H) vs Mathare United (A)

On Tuesday 2 March 2021, Nairobi City Stars will host Mathare United at Kasarani (outer) starting 3pm in a round 14 Premier League game.

It will be Premier league game number 25 between the two as, from 2004 to 2016, City Stars and Mathare United have met 24 times.

City Stars were relegated at the close of the 2016 and have never met Mathare while in the lower tier since.

From the previous 24 encounters, Mathare United has won 11 games, City Stars six and the other seven have ended in draws.

In 12 previous games hosted by City Stars, it’s equal stats as it’s been four wins and as many draws and losses.

When the two last faced off on 14 August 2016, Mathare carried the day with a 1-0 win at Nyayo Stadium. Robinson Kamura’s goal proved the difference.

That win brought City Stars two straight wins over Mathare at the same venue to an end.

New venue

Though the encounters have been numerous, City Stars has never hosted Mathare United outside Thika Stadium and City Stadium (1 game each), Hope centre (eight games) and Nyayo Stadium (twice).

The game will be played at the outer Kasarani (warm up) surface for the first time ever.

Recent form

Into the Tuesday affair, Mathare United carries a loss and draw against Bidco United and Wazito as City Stars trots with two wins over Zoo FC and Western Stima.

Simba wa Nairobi currently sits 12th in the 18-team standings with 16 points, seven ahead of Mathare United currently placed 16th.

Coaches

While Salim Ali will lead Mathare on Tuesday, City Stars will have Bosnian Sanjin Alagic on the touchline.

Sanjin will become coach no. 12 to lead City Stars against a Mathare outfit after Robert Matano (5 games), John Bobby Ogola (3), Oliver Page (1), Ken Odhiambo (5), Gideon Ochieng (2), Charles Omondi (2), Tim Bryet (1), Robinson Ndubuisi (1), Gabriel Njoroge (1), Richard Tamale Pinto (1).

Who takes this one?

Summary

KPL Games: 24 games

Games hosted by City Stars

23-Apr-05; World Hope vs Mathare United, Thika Stadium, 1-2 (L)
7-Jan-06: World Hope vs Mathare United, City Stadium, 1-1 (D)
15-Oct-06: World Hope vs Mathare United, Hope Centre, 1-2 (L)
2-Aug-08: World Hope vs Mathare United, Hope Centre, 1-0 (W)
30-Jul-09: City Stars vs Mathare United, Hope Centre, 0-2 (L)
21-Feb-10: City Stars vs Mathare United, Hope Center, 2-2 (D)
11-Jun-11: City Stars vs Mathare United, Hope Centre, 2-0 (W)
15-Sep-12: City Stars vs Mathare United, Hope Centre, 1-1 (D)
29-Jun-13: City Stars vs Mathare United, Hope Centre, 1-0 (W)
8-Nov-14: City Stars vs Mathare United, Hope Centre, 0-0 (D)
7-Aug-15: City Stars vs Mathare United, Nyayo Stadium, 2-0 (W)
14-Aug-16: City Stars vs Mathare United, Nyayo Stadium, 0-1 (L)
2-Mar-2021: City Stars vs Mathare United, Kasarani Annex, ?

City Stars midfielder Oliver Maloba on the ball in a 7th round Premier League tie against Posta Rangers at Kasarani on Fri 8 Jan 2021. The game ended 1-1
City Stars midfielder Oliver Maloba on the ball in a 7th round Premier League tie against Posta Rangers at Kasarani on Fri 8 Jan 2021. The game ended 1-1

Tusker, Gor Mahia games pushed back

Three international friendly games for Kenya between 13 and 18 March 2021 has forced the shift of games in the FKF Premier League.

One such game is a round 16 Nairobi City Stars – Tusker clash that was originally earmarked for a 1pm (EAT) kickoff Saturday 13th March 2021 at Kasarani.

That game has since been pushed back by a week and will now be played on Saturday 20 March 2021 at the same venue.

The game now falls on the date that Simba wa Nairobi would have faced off with defending Champions Gor Mahia

The disrupt by the upcoming international games against South Sudan and two back-to-back games against Tanzania, all in preparations of Africa Cup of Nation games later in the month against Egypt and Togo, has now shifted the kick off for the second leg of the league.

City Stars was to kick off the second stanza with a Kasarani duel with Sofapaka on Sunday 4 April 2021. City Stars will now play Gor Mahia on that date as the Sofapaka game moves to a new day.

A communique from the Federation on the aforementioned states;

The Kenya Senior National Team is scheduled to play three friendly matches in Mid-March in preparation for the upcoming Qualifier matches against Egypt and Togo. As such, Round 16 Matches earlier scheduled to be played on 12th – 14th March 2021 have been pushed forward and shall now be played on 19th – 21st March 2021.

Consequently, the kick off for the Second leg has been pushed to the weekend of 10th – 11th April 2021 so as to allow the teams with matches in hand to catch up as we seek to have all teams level (in terms of matches played) before beginning of the Second leg.

City stars attacking midfielder Oliver Maloba is in the provisional National team – Harambee Stars – squad and will be angling for his international break in the upcoming friendly games.

Kenya friendly game schedule

Sat. 13th Mar. 2021 | Kenya vs South Sudan | International Friendly Match
Mon. 15th Mar. 2021 | Kenya vs Tanzania | International Friendly Match
Thu. 18th Mar. 2021 | Kenya vs Tanzania | International Friendly Match

International game schedule

Thu. 25th Mar. 2021 | Kenya vs Egypt | AFCON 2022 Qualifiers
Mon. 29th Mar. 2021 | Togo vs Kenya | AFCON 2022 Qualifiers

Changes to City Stars schedule

Nairobi City Stars vs Tusker, Kasarani (Match 137); Sat, 20 Mar (from Sat 13) 2021  13:00

Gor Mahia vs Nairobi City Stars, Kasarani (Match 146): Sun 04 Apr (from Sat 20 Mar) 2021, 15:00

Nairobi City Stars to host Mathare United at Kasarani on Tue 2 Mar 2021 at 3pm
Nairobi City Stars to host Mathare United at Kasarani on Tue 2 Mar 2021 at 3pm

Mathare United clash shifts

Nairobi City Stars will host Mathare United on Tuesday 2 March 2021 in Kasarani at 3pm and NOT on Sunday 28 February 2021 as had been scheduled.

The game day change was necessitated due to unavailability of venues at the weekend as Kasarani will be hosting other games on the same Sunday.

“With no other venue available in Nairobi we had no choice but to request for a shift of play day and that has since been granted by the Federation,”

“Utalii which is the only alternate venue for games in Nairobi is also unavailable leaving Kasarani to soak in all the weekend pressure of hosting up to five Nairobi teams,”

“The only open window to host Mathare at Kasarani is on Tuesday hence the departure from the originally scheduled Sunday.” said club CEO Parick Korir

The Tuesday game follows on mid week games played on Wednesday where City Stars was away to Western Stima in Kisumu while Mathare was at Kasarani against Wazito.

The games ended 2-0 and 1-1, respectively.