Kisumu All Stars endured a torrid afternoon in Mombasa yesterday- Wednesday 13th, and seeing that they managed to walk away with the full set of spoils at stake is welcome relief to one Dismas Amunga- captain on the day.
All Stars did dully dispatch the hosts Coast Stima 2-1, but had to do so from coming from behind and with only nine men seeing the match to completion. Amunga- tasked with the leadership responsibilities yesterday, was sent off in the closing stages of the game and feels a little undone by the decision.
”I still don’t understand why I would be red carded yet I was the one trying to calm my players after the referee had given the hosts a penalty in injury time. We might have won but I think that was very unfair,” the 18 year old tells Soka.
Despite racing into the lead in the first half, the hosts could not contain Shadrack Omondi who upon being fouled in the penalty area, took it upon himself and drew All Stars level for 1-1. Things would change in the second half.
Goalkeeper John Otieno was sent off after handling the ball outside the area just a few minutes after restart and number one choice Geoffrey Were had to be summoned from the bench despite not feeling too well. The visitors then held on- at least for a point and a bonus would come their way when Austine Ochieng- having come on for Seth Oyugi, found leeway in the box and set up Ian Mutanda for the winner.
With pressure now piling on the hosts to at least grab a point, they would benefit from a stoppage time penalty much to the dismay of All Stars who protested the decision. According to the visitors, the call should have in fact been theirs, and a foul given for their defender Shakeel Devans.
It’s a difficult place to win, but Amunga says with belief one can achieve victory in Mombasa.
”Mombasa is never easy. This was the place I earned my debut in the NSL and I know how tough it can get. However, with great mental strength, teamwork and enough belief, a victory is possible,” he says.
The victory in Mombasa ensures All Stars do not drop from the leading pack in the second tier NSL log. With FC Talanta and Nairobi Stima both winning their matches, the Kisumu side stays 5th on the log with 27 points after 14 rounds of matches. Talanta and Stima are 4th and 3rd on 28 points.