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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sports Journalists Suffer Embarrassing Defeat to Former Harambee Stars Players

KSJ Team Photo
For the umpteenth time, former Harambee Stars internationals got the better of Kenya Sports Journalists (KSJ) as the two teams played out an entertaining curtain raiser match during the launch of the 2013 COPA Coca-Cola edition at City Stadium.

The media team went into the match charged up and ready to revenge a 3-1 defeat they were handed in February in a DSTV Cup curtain raiser match. However, they fell short of achieving that thanks to Sammy Okoth’s solitary goal for the veterans which was all that was needed to see off the media team.

With Kshs 20,000 at stake, the media team named a strong line-up in a 4-3-2-1 formation. Vivian Akinyi retained her position between the posts for KSJ and was guarded by Ghetto Radio’s Paul Ojenge and the tough-tackling Kiss TV’s Gregory Mulemi in central defence. Bismark Mutahi from The Standard and KBC’s Alex Isaboke positioned at right back and left back respectively while Timothy Olobulu from MichezoAfrika played the deep-lying midfielder role with compatriot Fred Arocho just ahead of him.

The two flanks were guarded by Joseph Shegu on the left wing and Erick Ochieng’ on the opposite one while the front positions were occupied by Citizen TV’s Mike Okinyi who played just behind Steve “Steifmaster” Ayoo who was the advanced striker.

The equally strong bench had Sharon Akinyi, Andrew Lugusa, Elvince Joshua, Dennis Kameni, Francis Wadegu, James Magayi, Amos Abuga, Antony Amollo and Peter Muchiri among others.

But in spite of naming a strong starting lineup, the media team found themselves on the backfoot during the early minutes of the game as the veterans dominated all areas of the pitch, especially the midfield.

It however took 26 minutes for the legends to open the scoring courtesy of Sammy Okoth who coaches Finlays FC, formerly Homegrown FC. The tactician combined well with former Gor Mahia striker William Odidi to slot home. The goal clearly rattled KSJ who started attacking with intent but could not draw level as the teams went for the half time breather with the legends holding a solitary goal lead.

KSJ made three changes with Francis Wadegu replacing Fred Arocho while the effective Bismark Mutahi gave way to James Magayi. The changes steadied the ship especially in the middle and KSJ engineered their first real threat.

Alex Isaboke collected the ball from Vivian on the right channel before laying it to Eric Ochieng’. The diminutive winger spotted Steve Ayoo’s run and slid the ball onto his path but the lanky front man saw his effort fly agonizingly across the face of goal.

Mike Okinyi then back heeled to Timothy Olobulu minutes later but the captain scuffed his effort and the ball was easily collected by the opposing keeper. James Magayi then broke clear from midfield but he was stopped on his track by George Sunguti. The veterans continued to threaten also and Okoth almost doubled their lead but he was tracked back just in time by Mulemi.

KSJ withdrew Olobulu and threw in frontman Amos Abuga into the mix to try draw level and force the game into extra time but it was too little too late as the referee blew for full time.

KSJ's Steve 'Steifmaster' Ayoo receives the consolation price on behalf of the teama
With the win, the former Stars players went home with a coveted trophy and Ksh 20,000 and three balls. The media team who gave a determined fight especially after the interval went home with Kshs 15,000 and two balls.

“We didn’t start the way we wanted and allowed our opponents to take the lead in the first half,” noted Alex Isaboke, the team’s captain. “We have not been lucky against them in our previous games but we will go back to the drawing board and invite them for a rematch as soon as possible,” added Alex.

Thesteifmastertake’s KSJ Man of the Match: Eric Ochieng’ – terrorized the ex Stars backline and showed real attacking intent from the right flank. Perhaps the only player who didn't deserve to be on the losing side.

Thesteifmastertake’s KSJ Flop of the Match: Fred Arocho – gifted the ball away that led to the goal and looked completely out of pace. Was rightfully substituted at half time.

Overall Man of the Match: Sammy Okoth – rolled back the years that saw him torture defenders and was a mouthful for KSJ’s centerback pairing of Gregory Mulemi and Paul Ojenge. Scored the only goal of the match. 

And That's thesteifmastertake!!