City Stars field skipper in team of the week after round 16 of games
City Stars field skipper in team of the week after round 16 of games

Muki makes Week 16 TOTW

Following a brace against log leaders Tusker FC, Nairobi City Stars field skipper Anthony Muki Kimani made it to the Premier League team of the week after round 16 of games.

In spite of his first half brace, Muki’s goals were neutralized as Tusker scored twice in the second half to forced the game to end shared at 2-2.

It was certainly a tale of two halves, as City Stars’ Simba wa Nairobi went to the break with 2-0 cushion off two sublime goals from skipper Anthony Muki Kimani in the eighth and 18th minute to increase his tally this season to four goals.

Muki’s display on the day, where he was ultimately named the man of the match, earned him a place in the team of the week.

City Stars striker Nicholas Kipkirui challenges Tusker's Eugene Asike during a premier league game at  Utalii grounds on Sat 20 mar 2021. It ended 2-2
City Stars striker Nicholas Kipkirui challenges Tusker's Eugene Asike during a premier league game at Utalii grounds on Sat 20 mar 2021. It ended 2-2

Tusker rallies to draw City Stars

Nairobi City Stars and Tusker eked out a 2-2 draw at Utalii grounds in a round 16 premier league game played on the afternoon of Saturday 20 March 2021. 

It was a tale of two halves, as City Stars’ Simba wa Nairobi went to the break with 2-0 cushion off two sublime goals from skipper Anthony Muki Kimani in the eighth and 18th minute to increase his tally this season to four goals.

But in the other stanza, Tusker called on their depth from the bench to level the game with goals from Kevin Monyi in the 52nd minute and substitute Chrispinus Onyango in the 77th minute to earn a sixth draw against City Stars since year 2004.

Inside the first five minutes had forced two freekicks from range off Muki and flyer Rodgers Okuse Okumu.

But it is the third off Okumu on seven minutes that counted for something as Muki stepped up to fire straight at goal past a perplexed Emery Mvuyekure for the first of the game.

Ten minutes later midfielder Sven Yidah took matters on his own hands and, from mid pitch, trailed the right channel into the box then squared the ball back for a charging Muki who smacked the ball home at the far post to double the lead.

It was Muki’s first ever brace for City Stars, and the club’s 15th Premier League brace  since 2004, that increased his tally to four to catch up with stalwart Peter Pinchez Opiyo as the club’s top scorers.

Right after the water break striker Erick Ombija got to the end of a Kevin Chumsy throw in only to fire wide.

Not too far off Bolton Omwenga had a near mess when he gave the ball away in the box but big centre back Kenedy Vidic Onyango came to his rescue to with a mop up job that saved the day.

At the half hour mark Macharia won the ball at the edge of the box after dispossessing stopper Salim Shitu Abdalla whose attempted dribble failed miserably. He played Meja in the box but Njunge picked it up to deny what seemed a clear goal. Shitu received a good scolding from his mates for the near goof.

That move came seconds after Muki, while on a counter, in seeking a hat trick, had attempted a lob on Emery that went wide.

Three minutes later Apolo Otieno struck a perfect freekick but once again Njunge was up to the task to save the stinger.

The minute after a relentless Muki attempted yet another lob off an Ombija knockdown whiskered just above earning a fruitless corner off a finger tip from Emery. He was to have one similar chance just before half time but his flick off Bolton’s freekick went, again, wide.

On 40 minutes Tusker threw away a glorious chance when another Meja-Macharia move saw the latter sky an effort.

At the start of the second half Tusker brought in Humphrey Mieno and Erick Zakayo for skipper Hashim Sempala who handed the armband to Eugene Asike, and Brian Marita, respectively.

Four minutes into the half Apolo sent a low dangerous freekick just wide but three minutes later, they got something out of nothing when right back Kevin Monyi lobbed the ball high that fortuitously dinked past a backpedaling Njunge who was off his line for Tusker’s first.

The next minute Tusker were marauding in the City Stars box again but Chumsy came to the rescue with a timely pick and clearance.

It was the trigger the log leaders needed as they went to high gear. Three minutes later Mieno fed Zakayo but his volley saw the skies.

A minute after the hour mark it was Tusker that we under attack when combative striker Erick Ombija zoomed into the box only to fire straight at keeper Emery.

Two minutes later Luke Namanda should have done better than fire across the face of goal when, from a few meters from the goal line, he wasted a Meja donkey work.

City Stars opted for changes after that attempt bringing on new signing Nicholas Kipkirui for his debut at the expense of Rodgers, and Davis Agesa for Oliver Maloba.

Tusker responded with the arrival of Chrispinus for Macharia and after the water break topped up with George Blackberry Ogutu for Luke Namanda.

Moments later it was level when a high ball into the City Stars box from Monyi was unchecked. It found Meja who fired at Njunge but his spill found Onyango who squared it home just minutes after coming on to the field of play for Macharia.

A rather rusty Kipkirui was then to fire at the side netting as the game wound down as Timothy Babu Ouma came on for Muki who shifted the armband to Shitu.

In the dying minutes Meja took a rest for Ochieng as John Kamau grabbed only his second league appearance this season taking over from a tiring Ombija.

The game ended with Babu missing out on hero status when, with the final ball of the game after being put through in the box, fired across goal when going for the far post.

With a new point, City Stars moved a place up to eighth place with 20 points from 16 games as Tusker stretched a point ahead from the chasing pack to the hit the 36-point mark from 16 games.

Next up for Simba wa Nairobi is a game against champions Gor Mahia in the 17th and final first leg clash on Sunday 4 April 2021 at Kasarani.

Lineups

Nairobi City Stars: 23. Steve Njunge (GK), 19. Kevin Okumu, 25. Kenedy Onyango, 4. Salim Abdalla, 26. Balton Omwenga, 3. Charles Otieno, 18. Sven Yidah, 30. Anthony Kimani-Captain (20. Timothy Ouma-86), 7. Rodgers Okumu (17. Nicholas Kipkirui-66), 21. Oliver Maloba (11. Davis Agesa-66), 24. Erick Ombija (15. John Kamau-89)

Unused subs: 16. Jacob Osano (GK),  2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo, 8. Calvin Masawa, 5. Wesley Onguso, 22. Wycliffe Otieno,

Not considered: 6. Ronney Kola, 14. Rowland Makati (both on loan at Nairobi Stima), 29. Ebrima Sanneh (wrist injury), 10. Peter Opiyo (suspended), 12. Edwin Buliba, 1. Elvis Ochoro (GK), 27. Azizi Okaka, 9. Vincent Otieno Okoth, 28. Herit Mungai Atariza, 32. Ezekiel Odera

Coach: Sanjin Alagic

Tusker: 20. Emery Mvuyekure, 22. Kevin Monyi, 3. Hillary Wandera, 40. Eugene Asike -captain (2nd half), 6. Christopher Oruchum, 13. Hashim Sempala – Captain (30. Humphrey Mieno-46), 24. Luke Namanda (11. George Ogutu-70), 4. Apollo Otieno, 18. Henry Meja (12. Christopher Ochieng-88), 16. Jackson Macharia (17. Chrispinus Onyango-68), 21. Brian Marita (7. Erick Zakayo-46)

Unused subs: 29. Michael Wanjala, 15. Rogers Aloro, 19. Jimmy Mbugua, 14. Faraj Odenyi,

Coach: Robert Matano

Goals: Anthony Muki Kimani -8,18 (Nairobi City Stars)//22.Kevin Monyi -52, 17.Chrispinus Onyango-73 (Tusker)

Yellow cards: 30. Anthony Kimani-38 (foul on Hillary Wandera), 24. Erick Ombija-53 (orals to ref). Salim Abdalla-89 (orals to ref) (Nairobi City Stars)//13. Hashim Sempala-27 (foul on Rogers Okumu) (Tusker)

Match Officials: Sylvester Kirwa (Match Comm), Zacharia Ashira (Centre ref), Adam Juma (AR1), Doreen Kendi (AR2), Simeon Onganga (Reserve Ref)

Elvis Noor Ojiambo in a past game against Zoo FC at Kasarani on Sat 20 Feb 2021. Nairobi City Stars won the game 2-1
Elvis Noor Ojiambo in a past game against Zoo FC at Kasarani on Sat 20 Feb 2021. Nairobi City Stars won the game 2-1

Four changes for Tusker

There will be four changes from the 20-man squad that remained intact against Western Stima, Mathare United and AFC Leopards when Nairobi City Stars hosts Tusker at Utalii on Saturday 20 March 2021 starting 1pm.

Mid lynchpin Peter Pinchez Opiyo is out suspended due to accumulation of (five) yellow cards and will for once miss a game this season after 15 straight appearances.

He will be replaced Elvis Noor Ojiambo who last featured in the 2-1 win over Zoo a month back.

Newly acquired striker Nicholas Kipkirui makes the squad in place of Gambian hitman Ebrima Sanneh who is out due to a wrist injury aggravated during the last game against AFC Leopards.

Left footed John Kamau makes a return to the squad since mid-January to replace striker Ezekiel Odera who had been part and parcel of all 15 games into the season, save for the season opener against Nzoia Sugar where he was considered as backup.

The final change sees the return of reserve keeper Jacob Osano who missed the last four league games. He replaces teenager Elvis Ochoro Ochieng.

20-man squad to face Tusker FC

Goal keepers: 16. Jacob Osano (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, 2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo, 7. Rodgers Okumu, 15. John Kamau,

Strikers: 17. Nicholas Kipkirui , 24. Erick Ombija, 11. Davis Agesa

Not considered: 6. Ronney Kola, 14. Rowland Makati (both on loan at Nairobi Stima), 29. Ebrima Sanneh (wrist injury), 10. Peter Opiyo (suspended), 12. Edwin Buliba, 1. Elvis Ochoro (GK), 27. Azizi Okaka, 9. Vincent Otieno Okoth, 28. Herit Mungai Atariza, 32. Ezekiel Odera

Nicholas Kipkirui

Striker Nicholas Kipkirui completing his move to Nairobi City Stars at the club offices in Upperhill on Wed 17 March 2021

Nairobi City Stars

John Kamau during a past friendly game against Kibra United at Ligi Ndogo on Wed 3 February 2021. He scored once as to lead City Stars to a 6-0 win

Lead keeper Jacob Osano has resumed training after sitting out for a week due to sickness

Nairobi City Stars to host Tusker FC in a match day 16 clash at Utalii grounds on Sat 20 March 2021 at 1pm
Nairobi City Stars to host Tusker FC in a match day 16 clash at Utalii grounds on Sat 20 March 2021 at 1pm

Head to head: Nairobi City Stars (H) vs Tusker (A)

Nairobi City Stars will host league leaders Tusker FC in a round 16 Premier League tie at Utalii grounds on Saturday 20 March 2021 starting 1pm.

It will be premier league game no. 25 between the two since October 2004, and the first since October 2016, when the action is called on Saturday afternoon.

From the previous overall matches, Tusker calls the shots having won 14 of the 24 past games. City Stars has won five and the other five have ended in draws.

City Stars home games

Broken down, in games hosted by City Stars, wins for Tusker are eight, two for City Stars and two are draws.

City Stars (then World Hope) first hosted Tusker back in February 2005 at City Stadium and lost 1-0.

The last game was back in February 2016 at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, that City Stars lost 2-1 from goals by Ekaliana Ndolo and Humphrey Mieno that cancelled out a Eugene Asike own goal.

Only one scoreless game

In the previous 24 games, Tusker FC has outscored Simba wa Nairobi 33 goals to 21.

Interestingly, 23 out of the 24 games have had goals, and only once on 21 March 2008 at Hope Centre did a game end scoreless, in a 0-0 draw.

Top scorer

With a brace each in identical 3-2 wins in September 2009 and September 2013, Collins Tiego and Bruno Sserunkuma are the top scorers for City Stars against Tusker since 2008.

They are joined by Dan Sserunkuma who scored consolation goals in identical 2-1 losses in 2011 and 2012.

With a brace in a 2-1 win in 2015, Jesse Were is Tusker’s top marksman over City Stars since 2008.

Were ties with Ekaliana Ndolo and Khalid Aucho who scored a goal apiece in two separate games.

Never at Utalii

Though the games have been many over the years, City Stars and Tusker have never faced off at Utalii Grounds. It’s an unfamiliar ground.

City Stars had hosted the previous 12 games at City Stadium and Hope centre five times a piece, and once each at Nyayo Stadium and Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.

Coach

In the upcoming game, City Stars head coach Sanjin Alagic from Bosnia is angling for his first ever game against Tusker.

He will be coming up against former City Stars coach Robert Matano, a master of the local game, who was in charge of the Kawangware-founded team from late 2004 through to late 2007.

Zedekiah Zico Otieno was in charge of the first ever game between the two back in 2004 before Matano took charge of the next five from 2005 to 2007.

John Bobby Ogola handled two games in 2008, and once in 2016, German Oliver Page one in 2009 then Ken Odhiambo four from 2009 to 2011.

Gideon Ochieng (1 game), Gambian Bai Malleh Wadda (2), Dutchman Jan Koops (1), Briton Tim Bryet (1), Nigerian Robinson Ndubuisi (1), Ugandan Paul Nkata (1), Gabriel Njoroge (1) and Ugandan Richard Tamale Pinto (1) were the other coaches to take charge of City Stars against Tusker

Form

Headed to the game, Tusker carries a win (1-0) over Ulinzi Stars as City Stars is reeling from the same margin loss to AFC Leopards in games played two weeks back.

As Tusker recovered from a shock 2-1 loss to newbies Bidco United in the previous game to claw Ulinzi, City Stars loss marked the end of a three-game winning streak over Zoo, Western Stima and Mathare United.

Summary

KPL games: 24 – Tusker (14 wins), City Stars (5 wins), Draws (5)

City Stars home games Vs Tusker

26-Feb-05: World Hope vs Tusker, City Stadium, 0-1 (L)
25-Mar-06: World Hope vs Tusker, City Stadium, 1-3 (L)
29-Oct-06: World Hope vs Tusker, Hope Centre, 1-0 (W)
21-Mar-08: World Hope vs Tusker, Hope Centre, 0-0 (D)
12-Sep-09: City Stars vs Tusker, Hope Centre, 3-2 (W)
19-Sep-10: City Stars vs Tusker, City Stadium, 2-2 (D)
14-May-11: City Stars vs Tusker, Hope Centre, 0-1 (L)
10-Nov-12: City Stars vs Tusker, Hope Centre, 0-3 (L)
1-May-13: City Stars vs Tusker, City Stadium, 0-1 (L)
21-May-14: City Stars vs Tusker, City Stadium, 0-1 (L)
29-Mar-15: City Stars vs Tusker, Nyayo Stadium, 1-2 (L)
27-Feb-16: City Stars vs Tusker, Kenyatta Stadium, 1-2 (L)
20-Mar-21: City Stars vs Tusker, Utalii grounds, ??

Nairobi City Stars Chair & owner Jonathan Jackson welcomes striker Nicholas Kipkirui to Nairobi City Stars soon after being signed as a free agent on Wed 17 March 2021
Nairobi City Stars Chair & owner Jonathan Jackson welcomes striker Nicholas Kipkirui to Nairobi City Stars soon after being signed as a free agent on Wed 17 March 2021

Kipkirui joins Nairobi City Stars

Striker Nicholas Kipkirui has joined Nairobi City Stars for a season and a half.

Kipkirui, a former Matrix, Zoo and Gor Mahia hitman, arrives at Simba wa Nairobi soon after being declared a free agent by the Football Kenya Federation (FKF).

His arrival has excited the club hierarchy more so club owner and Chair Jonathan Kiplimo Jackson.

“It was a struggle getting a quality striker but we are glad that finally Kipkirui has joined us. His goal scoring prowess is not in question and he will be a great boost to the City Stars frontline. I hereby welcome him to the Simba wa Nairobi family.” said Jonathan

Club CEO Patrick Korir further explained Kipkirui’s arrival off the transfer window;

“We were in search of a polished striker during the last transfer window. Having missed our targets locally, we went shopping in Uganda,”

“Kipkirui then came to us at a time he had issued notice of termination of contract to his former club,”

“We then entered a pre-agreement on the premise that, if his situation was not remedied within the term of the notice, we’d then sign him at the point he became a free agent,”

“We registered that pre-agreement with the Federation before the closure of the transfer window in accordance with FIFA regulations hence his eventual signing immediately he gained his free agent status.”

On his part Kipkirui had this to say; “I’m so excited to join Nairobi City Stars. I had several offers from teams within and outside Kenya but it is Simba wa Nairobi that appealed to me most,”

“I wish to thank the club owner Jonathan Jackson, management led by the Chief Executive Patrick Korir, and Team Coordinator Samson Otieno for offering me an opportunity to play for this ambitious club. I am ready to make the most of this chance,”

“I also want to sincerely extend my gratitude to the technical bench led by coach Sanjin Alagic for checking up and supporting me as went through due process to join the club,”

“Lastly, I thank Football Kenya Federation for assisting me to be able to play football and put a smile on my face again,”

“City Stars is one of the best-managed clubs in East Africa and I am looking forward to helping the team by assisting and scoring many goals, and most importantly winning titles,”

“This club is also part of the Jonathan Jackson Foundation and I am excited at the chance of assisting the needy in our society have a meal, achieve their dreams and goals.” concluded the sharp shooter

Kipkirui becomes the latest arrival at Simba wa Nairobi after left back Bolton Omwenga from Tanzania’s Biashara United Mara and right back Kevin Chumsy Okumu who rejoined the club on loan from Wazito FC.

Kipkirui will don jersey no. 17 at City Stars.

Jonathan Jackson, Nicholas Kipkirui

Nairobi City Stars Chair & owner Jonathan Jackson welcomes striker Nicholas Kipkirui to Nairobi City Stars soon after being signed as a free agent on Wed 17 March 2021

Nicholas Kipkirui

Striker Nicholas Kipkirui completing his move to Nairobi City Stars at the club offices in Upperhill on Wed 17 March 2021

Jonathan Jackson, Nicholas Kipkirui

Nairobi City Stars Chair & owner Jonathan Jackson welcomes striker Nicholas Kipkirui to Nairobi City Stars soon after being signed as a free agent on Wed 17 March 2021