Nairobi City Stars had a dream start to the 2019/20 National Super League (NSL) season after dispatching visiting Shabana 2-0 at the Hope Centre, Kawangware on Sunday 1 September, 2019.
A goal on either half by Ebrimah Sanneh and Jimmy Bageya handed new coach Sanjin Alagic from Sarajevo, Bosnia the perfect start.
Sanneh started it all with a traditional header after getting to the end of a free kick from Anthony Muki Kimani for the opening goal in the eighth minute. Jimmy Bageya was felled from 25 yards out for the free kick.
Ten minutes into the second half Bageya, playing on the left wing, got to the end of a free flowing move from Muki to double the lead.
Davis Agesa from the edge of the box squared a pass to Muki who then cut in for Bageya to finish the job with a one timed rising shot past the Shabana keeper.
Sanjin’s lineup for the day saw eight of 12 new players feature in the game, six of them making their debut. Keeper Levis Lovae Opiyo, a former Thika United, Posta Rangers, Western Stima and Mathare United keeper started in goal.
Salim Shitu Abdalla and Cornelius Mwangi, in from AFC Leopards and Modern Coast Rangers, respectively, were the centre back pairing as Eric Cantona Ochieng, a former Red Berets, Bandari, Sofapaka, Gor Mahia and Wazito player took his place as defensive midfielder.
Former JMJ Academy player Nahashon Thiosh Thiong’o who was signed from Mt. Kenya United started on the right wing but paved way for another new signing Elvis Elvo Ojiambo from Kibera Blackstars at the onset of the second half due to an ankle injury.
Returning Anthony Muki Kimani earned a start, for his first game for City Stars in ten years, alongside Jimmy Bageya who last featured for the side in early 2018.
Muki left City Stars at the end of 2009 to join Sofapaka but made a grand return to the team after a two year layoff since leaving Bandari in 2017.
Stephen Mweni, signed from Modern Coast Rangers, also made his debut after coming on as a late second half substitute for Muki.
Long serving Calvins Masawa, with the club since 2011, skippered the team while playing as left fullback. Kevin Chumsy Okumu played on the opposite side as Davis Agesa started behind striker Ebrima Sanneh.
23. Levis Opiyo, 8. Calvins Masawa (Captain), 4. Salim Abdala, 24. Cornelius Mwangi, 28. Kevin Okumu, 13. Eric Ochieng, 30. Anthony Kimani (18. Stephen Mweni), 19. Jimmy Bageya, 10. Nahashon Thiong’o (2. Elvis Ojiambo), 11. Davis Agesa (7. Heritier Luvualu), 26. Ebrima Sanneh
Unused subs; 1. Ronny Kagunzi, 17. Noah Abich, 5. Wesley Onguso, 6. Austin Ochieng
Yellow cards; Levis Opiyo, Ebrima Sanneh, Jimmy Bageya, Elvis Ojiambo
Goals; Ebrima Sanneh – 8th minute (Anthony Kimani assists – free kick), Jimmy Bageya – 53rd (Assist Anthony Kimani)
MVP: Ebrima Sanneh