June 10, 2021 Patrick Korir

Betway Cup: Journey ends with Bidco defeat

Oliver Maloba on the ball against Bidco in the quarters of Betway Cup on Thur 10 June 2021 at Ruaraka grounds. Bidco United won 1-0

A 1-0 defeat to Bidco United on Thursday 10 June 2021, at Ruaraka, ended Nairobi City Stars’ dream of making it through to the Betway Cup semis.

A lob by David Orem goal in the 21st minute is all it took for Bidco United to end Nairobi City Stars ride from the quarters to the semis of the Cup.

The game was cagey inside the first five minutes but in the next two minutes, the action was on either end.

After stopper Salim Abdalla put a stop to a Bidco player in the box, the ball was on the other end where Oliver Maloba failed to trigger the ball home while in the box. Skipper Anthony Muki Kimani’s follow-up rolled out.

In the 14th minute, Orem could have opened the scores had he timed his header to a perfect Alex Sunga cross from the right. It weaved wide.

But he atoned for the miss minutes later when lobbed the ball, delivered by Stephen Waruru, over keeper Stephen Njunge for what turned out to be the winner despite a clearance attempt from left-back Bolton Omwenga on the line.

The debate of whether it crossed the line or not was put to a halt when assistant referee Mary Njoroge at the far end, perhaps with the best view of it, signaled for a goal that centre referee Dr. Peter Kamau duly awarded.

Two minutes after the half-hour mark, striker Davis Agesa fumbled with the ball within meters of Bidco keeper Zamu Adisa while in the box and three minutes later he fired high as City Stars searched for the leveler.

The missed chances continued to pile when lead striker Nicholas Kipkirui failed to get the perfect connections to two balls inside the final five minutes before the breather.

A foul on Sven Yida right after the restart led to a freekick but Bolton’s take only earned an unfruitful corner. Moments later Agesa’s header on Muki’s delivery went wide as Simba wa Nairobi continued to chase the game.

In the 50th minute, Bidco could have doubled matters had Waruru’s low drive at the edge of the box, after making a good run from the left, had not ended in Njunge’s arms.

Within the next ten minutes Bidco United had two cut-ins from the flanks, by Sunga and right back David Kalama, but the final ball by both flew wide off target.

City Stars then opted for new ideas pulling out Maloba for speedster Rodgers Okuse Okumu – who was celebrating his birthday – as well as his former Coast Stima teammate Erick Ombija for Agesa.

Within eight minutes of his arrival, Okuse won a freekick and two dangerous corners. Off the second one, the ball got to Ombija whose half bicycle kick ricocheted off the crossbar. A follow-up by Sven went just wide.

Bidco then changed tact in the game with the introduction of Batts Awita for Stephen Waruru and Lambert Otieno for Sunga.

City Stars too made changes by throwing in header specialist Ebrima Sanneh for skipper Muki and like-for-like changes for stopper Wycliffe Otieno for Kenedy Onyango as a precaution as he had a yellow card and his tackles were hard and spot-on.

But even with added firepower in the final third, City Stars chances upfront, off freekicks by Bolton, went begging with Bidco keeper Zamu getting to the end of most, if not all.

Rather unexplainably, one such delivery by Bolton a minute to time dropped in the box but failed to get a touch for a goal that could have sent the game to penalties. The ball frustratingly rolled out to the far end of the pitch for a goal kick.

One last effort by Bolton in the 3rd and final minute off added time landed at Zamu bringing the end-to-end affair to a close.

With the win, Bidco United sails on to the semis to face league champion Gor Mahia who also made it to the last four after seeing off finalists in the last three Cup editions Kariobangi Sharks 2-0 in another last eight-game played at Utalii on Thursday.

For City Stars, the focus now shifts back to the premier league. The next assignment is against Western Stima at Utalii grounds on Tuesday 15 June starting 3 pm.


Bidco United: 21. Omar Zamu Adisa, 4. David Kalama, 16. Geoffrey Gitau, 18. Francis Oduor, 24. Anthony Simasi, 2. Jacob Onyango, 31. Peter Nzuki, 7. Alex Juma (12. Lambert Otieno-70), 19. David Orem (8. Steven Okiro-90+3), 28. Eric Gichimu (30. Anthony Gathu-80), 22. Stephen Waruru (11. Batts Awita-70)

Unused subs: 1. Edwin Omwambani (GK), 40. Wilson Anekeya, 6. Mwinyi Kassim, 15. Hillary Shirao, 14. Stephen Obukui

Coach: Anthony Akhulia

Nairobi City Stars: 23. Steve Njunge (GK), 26. Bolton Omwenga, 25. Kenedy Onyango (22. Wycliffe Otieno-75), 4. Salim Abdalla, 19. Kevin Okumu, 10. Peter Opiyo, 18. Sven Yidah, 30. Anthony Kimani-Captain (29. Ebrima Sanneh-75), 11. Davis Agesa (24. Erick Ombija-69), 21. Oliver Maloba (7. Rodgers Okumu-60), 17. Nicholas Kipkirui

Unused subs: 16. Jacob Osano, 8. Calvin Masawa, 2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo, 32. Ezekiel Odera, 3. Charles Otieno,

Not considered: 6. Ronney Kola, 14. Rowland Makati (both on loan at Nairobi Stima), 1. Elvis Ochoro (GK), 28. Herit Mungai Atariza, 5. Wesley Onguso, 12. Edwin Buliba, 27. Azizi Okaka, 20. Timothy Noor Ouma, 15. John Kamau, 9. Vincent Otieno Okoth

Coach: Sanjin Alagic

Yellow cards

Nairobi City Stars: 25. Kenedy Onyango (11), 11. Davis Agesa (16)

Bidco United: 4. David Kalama (78), 12. Lambert Otieno (80),

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