Kariobangi Sharks on Saturday suffered another setback in their quest for a maiden Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) title after going down 2-1 to Nairobi City Stars at Utalii Grounds in Nairobi.
Peter Opiyo gave City Stars the lead in the 56th minute from the spot, before substitute Oliver Maloba sealed the visitors win 16 minutes from time.
Daniel Sakari’s scored Sharks’ consolation goal from a rebound at the death after City Stars’ goalkeeper Steve Njunge saved Patilah Omotto’s penalty.
The loss was the second in a row for Sharks after they fell 2-1 to Ulinzi Stars at Narok Stadium last weekend.
While the coach William Muluya’s side remains fourth on the log with 31 points, while City Stars, under the tutelage of Sanjin Alagic, leapfrogged Wazito into ninth on 23 points.
Sharks’ defence was the busier of the two in the first-half, as City Stars looked determined to build on their 3-0 win over Sofapaka last Monday.
Rodgers Okumu sneaked a pass to Elvis Noor in the 10th minute but the latter’s shot inside the box lacked enough sting to trouble Sharks’ goalkeeper Brian Bwire.
Six minutes later, Bwire was forced into another save by defender Bolton Omwenga, before Davis Agesa’s curve in the 23rd minute smashed the upright.
With Simba wa Nairobi pinning Sharks in their area, coach William Muluya side relied on counter attacks but they were timely cleared by the City Stars backline.
Sharks’ winger James Mazembe had his side’s first shot on target in the 34th minute but goalkeeper Steve Njuge was alert. This match was the first for Mazembe and striker Erick Kapaito since they penned a new three-year deal with the club on Friday.
Two minutes to the break, captain of the day Omotto then forced Njunge into another brilliant save with a well taken free-kick from a promising position.
Muluya responded to his side’s struggle in the first half with a change at the restart, Julius Masaba taking the place of John Omondi.
And it is the hosts who threatened first in the second period, Sakari flashing his powerful shot from the right on the face of City Stars’ goal.
City Stars broke the deadlock on 56 minutes veteran midfielder Peter Opiyo from the spot after Nicholas Kipkirui was fouled inside the box.
The visitors then rested Okumu for Oliver Maloba. Kipkirui would have doubled his side’s lead in the 63rd minute but his header missed the target narrowly to the right, with Bwire beaten.
Moments later, Muluya made another change, bringing on Robert Onyango and Shaphan Oyugi for Douglas Mokaya and Mazembe respectively.
A defensive lapse in the 74th minute cost Sharks, as Maloba beat Bwire with a shot that hit the crossbar before crossing the line.
Sakari then slotted deep in added time after pouncing on a rebound after Njunge punched Omotto’s penalty into his way.