Anthony Muki Kimani celebrate his opening goal against Nzoia Sugar at Narok Stadium on Sun 29 Nov 2020. City Stars won 2-0
Anthony Muki Kimani celebrate his opening goal against Nzoia Sugar at Narok Stadium on Sun 29 Nov 2020. City Stars won 2-0

Muki comments on winning start

Skipper Anthony Muki Kimani lead Nairobi City Stars to a 2-0 win over Nzoia Sugar at Narok Stadium on Sunday 29 November 2020 as the team returned to the top flight league after four years.

Muki, playing his 227th Premier League game, the first for City Stars since the 2009 season, and the first after his last premier league game while at Bandari in late 2016, led by example in scoring the first goal – the club’s 305th premier league goal – after 16 minutes when he finished off a Davis Agesa cross with a cheeky finish to beat diving Nzoia keeper Mustapha Oduor at the far post.

Two minutes later it was 2-0 after Oliver Maloba sneaked into the box to hammer in another Agesa delivery.

“It was the kind of start we had hoped for; a winning one. We are glad we achieved it,” said Muki

“The winning start reiterates our preparedness for the league even though we had been out of the top league for years. We can now approach the upcoming games with a lot more confidence.” he added

Muki returned to the club in mid 2019 and pushed their case for promotion from the second tier with, other than great leadership and experience, three MVP awards and as many goals and ten crucial assists.

Salim 'Shitu' Abdalla looks on in Nairobi City Stars Premier League opener against Nzoia Sugar FC on Sun 29 Nov 2020. City Stars won 2-0. Shitu was named MVP for Simba wa Nairobi
Salim 'Shitu' Abdalla looks on in Nairobi City Stars Premier League opener against Nzoia Sugar FC on Sun 29 Nov 2020. City Stars won 2-0. Shitu was named MVP for Simba wa Nairobi

Shitu named MVP

On Sunday 29 November 2020, Nairobi City Stars saw off Nzoia Sugar 2-0 at Narok Stadium to register a winning start to the 2020/21 FKF Premier League.

Two goals by skipper Anthony Muki Kimani and Oliver Maloba in the 16th and 18th minutes, off assists by Davis Agesa, earned the team all spoils.

At the close of the game, City Stars technical bench picked out stopper Salim Shitu Abdalla as the MVP.

Shitu partnered Kenedy Vidic Onyango at the heart of defense and time and again thwarted Nzoia Sugar forwards, led by experienced Philip Muchuma, from the red zone.

.On his pick as the best of all, Shitu, one of 12 players making their premier league debut at City Stars on the day, said;

“It was a very good starting game. The win was the most important one. We however have some improvements to make heading to our next game where we will be looking for another positive result.” he said

Shitu joined City Stars mid 2019 and contributed immensely to the club’s promotion to the top flight after four years in the second tier.

In the ended season, he scored three times – two of which were match winners against Kenya Police and Shabana, and was named MVP twice against Ushuru and Nairobi Stima.

Ezekiel Odera in a duel with an Inter Base player during a friendly at the Public Service Club on Wednesday 11 November 2020. City Stars won 5-0. He scored City Stars last Premier League goal in 2016
Ezekiel Odera in a duel with an Inter Base player during a friendly at the Public Service Club on Wednesday 11 November 2020. City Stars won 5-0. He scored City Stars last Premier League goal in 2016

Friendly: Ligi Ndogo 1 City Stars 1

Hosts Ligi Ndogo held City Stars to a 1-1 draw in a recovery game played at the Ligi Grounds on Mon 30 November 2020.

City Stars head coach Sanjin Alagic gave a run out to all the players who did not feature, or did not clock full minutes, in the Kenyan premier league opener against Nzoia Sugar on Sunday at Narok Stadium.

City Stars missed a penalty by Wesley Onguso in the first half but went up 1-0 at the hour mark when speedster Rodgers Okumu aka Okuse zoomed down the middle after receiving a through ball from Jimmy Bageya to round up Ligi keeper Brent Omwena for the opener.

The lead lasted just two minutes as Ligi forced City Stars defender Edwin Buliba to an own goal from a free kick.

According to coach Sanjin, post match game friendly hands players who did not feature in a league match the much needed match fitness and a chance to be ready for the upcoming game.

Lineups

City Stars: 1. Elvis Ochoro (GK), 15. John Kamau (19. Jimmy Bageya), 5. Wesley Onguso, 12. Edwin Buliba, 8. Calvin Masawa, 27. Azizi Okaka, 18. Sven Yidah, 20. Timothy Noor Ouma, 9. Vincent Otineo Okoth, 7. Rodgers Okumu, 32. Ezekiel Odera

Ligi Ndogo: Brent Omwena (Militon Fanuel), Lubulu Kitamba, Maingi Muthoka (Ken Okoth), Brian Ngolo, Kevin Taiwo (David Mukiama), Reydon Munane, Fidel Alusa (Rodrigue Onana), Lewi Shivachi (Owen Mboya), Hussein Mohammed (Amoa Luc), Brayan Mzee (Shasha Rabala), Kefa Aswani (Zakaria Fernandez)

Coach: Sammy Machio

Davis Agesa provided two assists as City Stars saw off Nzoia Sugar 2-0 at Narok Stadium in their opening 2020/21 Premier League game on Sun 29 Nov 2020
Davis Agesa provided two assists as City Stars saw off Nzoia Sugar 2-0 at Narok Stadium in their opening 2020/21 Premier League game on Sun 29 Nov 2020

Double assist on debut excites Agesa

Two deliveries by striker Davis Agesa at the Narok Stadium on Sunday 29 November 2020 led to two goals as Nairobi City Stars saw off Nzoia Sugar 2-0 in their opening 2020/21 premier league campaign.

Agesa made his full premier league for Nairobi City in the game hosted in Narok County.

His two assists left him purring, and it is now his hope that the team can continue with the good start;

“It’s great to be back in the premier league,” he started before adding; “especially with a victory,”

“I could not ask for much with my two assist for my teammates to score. I feel proud for them, for the team and for the technical bench,”

“We now need to build up on this win in the next match.” added the soft spoken striker

He could have left the scene with a goal of his own, if not two, had he not sent a long range blockbuster wide towards the end of the first half, and directed a lose ball wide late in the second half.

Agesa joined relegated Nairobi City Stars in January 2017 from Vapor Sports and is the clubs’ top scorer across the four seasons in the second tier with 17 strikes.

He was loaned to Thika United in early 2018 where clocked his maiden top flight game against Kakamega Homeboyz at the Thika Stadium.

He returned to City Stars midway through that season after clocking ten premier league games before heading out for a stint in Asia.

City Stars striker Davis Agesa goes for the ball against a Gor player during a friendly played at Jamhuri grounds on Sat 21 Nov 2020. The two teams tied 1-1

Davis Agesa on the ball as Peter Opiyo looks on during a friendly against Mt. Kenya United on Sat 14 Nov 2020. It ended 1-1

Oliver Maloba celebrates his goal, the second for City Stars in the season opening 2-0 win over Nzoia Sugar FC at Narok Stadium on Sun 29 Nov 2020
Oliver Maloba celebrates his goal, the second for City Stars in the season opening 2-0 win over Nzoia Sugar FC at Narok Stadium on Sun 29 Nov 2020

Winning Premier start against Nzoia

Nairobi City Stars kicked off their 2020/21 FKF Premier League campaign on a bright note after seeing off visiting Nzoia Sugar FC 2-0 at the Narok Stadium on Sunday 29 November 2020.

Powerful forward Davis Agesa, one of 12 players making their Premier League debut for City Stars on the day, delivered two assists that skipper Anthony Muki Kimani and Oliver Maloba finished off in a two minute blitz to settle the contest of two sides that had never met before at any level.

Also read 19 named for historic Narok clash with Nzoia

Muki, playing his first Premier League game for City Stars since 2009, and the first top flight game since 2016 (at Bandari), started it off in the 16th minute when he opened up to receive Agesa’s cross.

With a view of goal, he hit a diagonal shot to the far post from the edge of the box to beat a diving Mustapha Oduor in Nzoia’s goal.

To feed Muki, Agesa had received the ball from Erick Ombija who knocked down a long goal kick from City Stars keeper Steven Njunge Ndungu.

Even before the celebrations could settle, Agesa was at it again after intercepting a backward pass from Nzoia’s Leonard Kasembeli to square a pass for Maloba who, once in the box, slammed the ball home at the far post for only his third Premier league goal for City Stars.

After the quickfire goals the tempo of the game slowed drastically after a consistent drizzle that hit Narok town.

There was a turning point ten minutes after the restart when a swift Gaetan Masha was awarded a penalty after City Stars centre back Salim Shitu Abdalla was adjudged to have hacked him down the flying lad in the box.

Cliff Kasuti stepped up to take the spot kick but an agile Njunge in City Stars goal tamed his shot leaving left back Herit Mungai to clear the lines before Nzoia Sugar forwards could pounce on the rebound.

Maloba could have finished the game with a brace in the dying minutes but he shockingly skied a sure pass, while unmarked in the box, that came from the left from teenager Vincent Jamaica Otieno.

“This was the kind of start we had been hoping for. It was an important one against a solid Nzoia Sugar side, a team we had never faced before in a venue we had never played in. It was a historic game, one that sets the tone for the season.” said club CEO Patrick Korir after the game

It was the first Premier League game for Bosnian coach Sanjin Alagic who guided the team to promotion last season.

“There’s a great psychological importance in winning the starting game. It prepares you for the rest of the season and I am excited that we achieved it against an experienced KPL team.” said Sanjin

Three teenage debuts

In the historic game, just two of the starting players – Muki and Maloba had previously played a Premier League game for City Stars.

Eight of the other nine starters had Premier League experiences but for the first time donned City Stars colors in the top flight.

Save for Erick Ombija who was substituted in the second half, the other seven; Steve Njunge, Herit Mungai Atariza, Kenedy Onyango, Salim Abdalla, Wycliffe Otieno, Peter Opiyo and Davis Agesa all earned full debuts in Simba wa Nairobi colors. Sven Yidah, with 97 previous appearances with Kariobangi Sharks, donned his City Stars colors in the second half.

Teenager Elvis Noor Ojiambo, signed from Kibera Black Stars mid last year on a long term deal was the only player in the starting 11 to make his top flight debut.

Two other teenagers joined his status – his sibling Timothy Noor Ouma and Vincent Otieno Okoth who came on as second half subs for Maloba and Erick Ombija, respectively.

Third winning start

Prior to the starting win against Nzoia, City Stars had only won just two starting games in 12 seasons between 2004 and 2016.

The team managed a 3-1 win over KCB  at City Stadium in the 2005/6 season (as World Hope) and later a 2-0 (awarded) win over AFC Leopards at Hope Centre in the 2009 season.

Four draws were the starting results in the 2004/5, 2008, 2010 and 2016 seasons while six losses invited the team to the  2006/7 season as well as the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Next

With the Nzoia Sugar game now recorded, Nairobi City Stars now shifts focus to KCB in their next game set for Friday 4th December 2020 at a yet to be confirmed venue.

Lineups:

Nairobi City Stars: 23. Steve Njunge (GK), 28. Herit Mungai Atariza, 25. Kenedy Onyango, 4. Salim Abdalla, 22. Wycliffe Otieno, 2. Elvis Noor Ojiambo (18. Sven Yidah-66′), 10. Peter Opiyo, 30. Anthony Kimani, 21. Oliver Maloba (20. Timothy Noor Ouma-83′), 24. Erick Ombija (9. Vincent Otieno Okoth -61′), 11. Davis Agesa

Unused Subs: 1. Elvis Ochoro (GK), 12. Edwin Buliba, 7. Rodgers Okumu, 8. Calvin Masawa

Not considered: 32. Ezekiel Odera (travelled to Narok as backup), 29. Ebrima Sanneh, 17. Yusuf Mukisa Lubowa, 3. Charles Otieno (injuries), 27. Azizi Okaka, 19. Jimmy Bageya, 16. Jacob Osano (sickness), 5. Wesley Onguso, 15. John Kamau

Technical bench: Sanjin Alagic (Head Coach), Nihad Nalbantic, Noah Abich, John Amboko (assistant coaches), Brian Odongo (Physio)

Yellow cards: 10. Peter Opiyo-53′

Nzoia Sugar FC: 23. Mustapha Oduor, 30. Moses Mwale, 25. Dennis Wanjala, 6. Gabriel Wandera, 17. Emmanuel Esekon,13. Kevin Juma, 10. Cliff Kasuti (34. Felix Oluoch-82′), 32. Leonard Kasembeli, 33. Philip Muchuma (29. Eric Otieno-82′), 3. Gaetan Masha, 20. Felicien Okanda

Unused subs: 15. Humphrey Katasi, 2. John Munanai, 27. Kevin Maliachi, 11. Dan Musamali, 24. Ian Simiyu

Technical bench: Peter Mwaura (Head coach), John Muraya (Team Manager), Mathias Onyango, Peter Gin (Trainers), Amir Magwara (Physio)

Muki celebrates the opening goal as City Stars sees off Nzoia Sugar 2-0 at Narok Stadium in their opening 2020/21 FKF Premier League game on Sun 29 Nov 2020