Gambian striker Ebrima Sanneh came off the bench to power an 88th minute header for Nairobi City Stars to dim Nairobi Stima 1-0 at Camp Toyoyo in a Betika Super League (BSL) match day 28 game played on Saturday 14 March 2020.
Sanneh came on for Azizi Okaka in the second half and within ten minutes his traditional rise to receive an Anthony Muki Kimani corner kick proved the difference in the game.
The goal not only handed City Stars all points, to complete a double over Nairobi Stima this season, but it also ended Sanneh’s four-month league drought.
He last scored on 8th November 2019 – a winning penalty against FC Talanta at Toyoyo. His latest was the ninth of the season that handed City Stars a first ever home win over Nairobi Stima.
Nairobi Stima pinned down City Stars in the first 15 minutes with raid after raid but the hosts survived it to settle into the game.
Returning striker Davis Agesa could have sent City Stars up in the latter stages of the first half but he failed to get a good shot on a delivery while inside the box.
Into the second half a Stima forward broke past City Stars centre backs to the six yard area only to force a corner when an outright goal was the likelihood.
The turning point of the game came in the 75th minute when Agesa forced Stima skipper and center back Joseph Shikokoti to a second bookable offence that led to a red card.
With their defense kingpin out it was only a matter of time for Stima. And when Sanneh rose to Muki’s late corner the party was certainly over.
The workings of three substitutes turned City Stars fortunes around to deliver the win. Wesley Onguso, who on tactical changes replaced right back Edwin Buliba, delivered a floated ball from deep in the left channel for John Kamau who took up the place of winger David Gateri.
Kamau forced a corner off Nairobi Stima right back Paul Kisiga for Muki to float it to super sub Sanneh to end the Toyoyo affair.
City Stars has now moved up to the 64-point mark to open a ten-point gap over second placed Bidco United who sat out league games this weekend due to domestic cup assignments. Stima on their part have dropped a position down to fifth and are on 48 points.
Nairobi City Stars
Starting XI: 23. Levis Opiyo, 8. Calvin Masawa, 4. Salim Abdalla, 22. Wycliffe Otieno, 30. Anthony Kimani – Captain, 12. Edwin Buliba (5. Wesley Onguso-50), 2. Elvis Ojiambo, 10. Peter Opiyo, 25. David Gateri, (15. John Kamau-60′), 27. Azizi Okaka (26. Ebrima Sanneh-75′), 11. Davis Agesa
Unused subs: 23. Jacob Osano, 17. Noah Abich. 6. Tedian Esilaba Atuto, 2. Eric Ochieng
Out: 19. Jimmy Bageya, 3. Charles Otieno, 9. Vincent Otieno, (all injured) 32. Ezekiel Odera (suspended), 28. Kevin Okumu, 17. Oliver Maloba, 1. Ronny Kagunzi
Coach: Sanjin Alagic
Yellow cards; Salim Abdalla (21) Peter Opiyo (26), Elvis Ojiambo (65).
Starting XI: 30. Edwin Ombwami, 4. Paul Kisiga, 5. Shela Mandela, 25. Joseph Shikokoti – Captain, 11. Levian Ochieng, 10. Alex Luganji, 8. Musa Oundo, 7. Dennis Ochieng, 22. Douglas Mokaya, 6. Patrick Mugendi, 20. Ahmed Ibrahim
Subs: 1. Muhamad Kasule, 26. Said Adam, 21. Christopher Bukachi, 18. Frederick Ojwang, 19. Michael Onyango, 13. Caleb Olilo, 14. Dennis Alusiola
Coach: Leonard Odipo