Nairobi City Stars hit home team FC Talanta 2-1 in the first-ever Premier League meeting between the two played in Kasarani Annex on Saturday 8 January 2022.
Skipper Anthony Muki Kimani and Sven Yidah scored in the 31st and 36th minutes, respectively, as FC Talanta got their consolation through Francis Kahiro in the 79th minute in the round 13 FKF Premier League clash.
FT ‘| BOUNCE BACK
Back to winning ways in Kasarani
Goals in the 1st half by Muki and Sven gives us the win against Talanta FC
— Official Nairobi City Stars Fc (@NrbCityStars) January 8, 2022
The scores could have been different had City Stars not clipped the upright and/or crossbar three times, and had left back Dennis Decha Wanjala not headed out a Talanta shot off a corner at the line in the third minute of added time.
The win was a bounce-back for City Stars after a 1-0 loss in their previous assignment against AFC Leopards that sees the side move up from fifth to third with 23 points.
On the other hand, it was a reversal of fortunes for FC Talanta who came to the game on the back of a massive 1-0 win in Bukhungu that ended Kakamega Homeboyz unblemished run in the league.
As early as the second minute, City Stars, fielding three changes from the last game, believed they had scored when Sven Yidah put his head to a perfect John Kamau delivery from a corner.
The ball rammed the undersigned of the crossbar and seemingly diverted inward but the referee made no call after Talanta keeper Isaiah Wakasala picked the ball before it bounced on the surface.
Within the next four minutes either side wasted a corner each and in the seventh minute overlapping City Stars fullback Kevin Chumsy Okumu raced up the channel to serve Kamau with a perfect cross but his header was feeble and only ended up with Wakasala.
By the eleventh minute FC Talanta had forced two corners and in between Michael Bodo had a low shot for goal go just off.
By the quarter-hour mark, City Stars had two unaccounted freekicks by returning Peter Pinchez Opiyo and left-back Wanjala.
The exchanges would play out and in the 24th minute, the referee was forced to fish out a yellow card after Talanta stopper Nicodemus Malika aka Mariga checked Timothy Babu Ouma. Muki fired the freekick wide.
Two minutes later Muki almost atoned for his miss when, unmarked, he went for a low header to meet Decha’s free-kick only for the upright to deny him a goal. Another City stars freekick shortly after was also wasted.
The action then swung to the other end and Talanta should have gone a goal ahead had Hassan Mohammed, left unmarked in the box, shockingly shot at City Stars keeper Jacob Osano when it was easier to score.
That near-miss led to a no-miss by City Stars moments later when Chumsy swung the ball the other way, stormed into the box to square the ball to Ezekiel Odera who then laid it up for Muki to fire home the opener in the 31st minute, his fourth goal this season.
Five minutes later, Babu forced a corner that Opiyo drove to the box. A failed clearance left the ball on Sven’s feet who then fired it home for City Stars
In the buildup to the goal, FC Talanta lost left-back Evans Maliachi to an injury and he had to be replaced by Eric Wanjala.
The lads lead at the break thanks to Muki & Pinchez goals
— Official Nairobi City Stars Fc (@NrbCityStars) January 8, 2022
The second half saw Talanta enter the game with purpose as by back-to-back crosses into the City Starsbox especially from the right by Georson Likono and Alvin Ochieng.
Two minutes after the hour mark Babu gave way to speedster Rodgers Okuse Okumu and six minutes later Talanta double changed bringing on Enock Momanyi and Kevinton Machika for Maurice Dukuly and Georson Likono, respectively.
Five minutes later Talanta added firepower upfront with the introduction of striker Brian Yakhama for Hassan Mohammed.
In between the changes, either side had wasted a corner and City Stars keeper Osano had seen yellow for taking his time before a goal kick.
Substitute Wanjala of Talanta also went to the referee’s book in the 67th minute for a shove on Odera on the line as stopper Shela Mandela got carded for mouthing the referee for awarding a freekick after the same Odera was fouled at the edge of the box.
Odera left the pitch soon after with Erick Ombija coming on for his first game after skipping the last seven due to injury and illness. He was accompanied by Oliver Maloba who took up Kamau’s place.
The resultant freekick taken by Opiyo ricocheted off the crossbar and back in play.
Two minutes later the ball was on the other end and a good cross foul into the box failed to receive a clearance that Kahiro pounced on to score for Talanta.
Not too long after the ball was on the other side and a Maloba drive and pass found Okuse who, from close range, fired at goal only for, once again, the ball to come off the crossbar and back in play.
The game had a very nervy ending as Talanta threw everything at Simba wa Nairobi.
At that point defensive-mid Charles Chale Otieno came in for Muki to help defend
The final action could have changed the score but City Stars will have to thank Decha for a line clearance off a Kahiro shot from one final corner by Talanta.
With 23 points and a third placing, City Stars takes a week’s rest before taking on defending champions Tusker in Ruaraka on Saturday 15 January 2022 starting 3 pm.
FC Talanta: 30. Isaiah Wakasala, 24. Alvin Ochieng, 3. Evans Maliachi (6. Eric Lusala-39), 22. Nicodemus Malika, 9. Shela Mandela, 28. Maurice Dukuly (8. Enock Machuka-68), 29. Francis Kahiro, 2. Michael Bodo, 20. Hassan Mohammed (14. Brian Yakhama-73), 23. Edwin Lavatsa, 12. Georson Likono (19. Kevinton Machika-68)
Unused Subs: 25. James Omusinde, 15. Eugene Ambulwa, 21. Rodgers Mathew,
Coach: Ken Kenyatta
Nairobi City Stars: 16. Jacob Osano, 19. Kevin Okumu, 12. Edwin Buliba, 26. Dennis Wanjala (28. Herit Mungai-84), 18. Sven Yidah, 10. Peter Opiyo, 30. Anthony Kimani-Captain(3. Charles Otieno-87), 20. Timothy Noor Ouma (7. Rodgers Okumu-62), 15. John Kamau (21. Oliver Maloba-76), 32. Ezekiel Odera, (24. Erick Ombija-76),
Unused subs: 23. Stephen Njunge (GK), 8. Calvin Masawa, 5. Michael Madoya, 4. Salim Abdalla, 27. Lennox Ogutu,
Out: 22. Wycliffe Otieno, 6. Ronney Kola (all injured), 1. Elvis Ochoro, 29. Ebrima Sanneh, 2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo, 9. Vincent Otieno Okoth, 14. Rowland Makati, 25. Kenedy Onyango, 11. Davis Agesa, 17. Nicholas Kipkirui
Coach: Nicholas Muyoti
FC Talanta: 22. Nicodemus Malika (24), 6. Eric Wanjala (69), Shela Mandela (75),
City Stars: 18. Sven Yidah (43), Jacob Osano (65)
FC Talanta: 29. Francis Kahiro (79)
Nairobi City Stars: 30. Anthony Kimani (31), Sven Yidah (36)