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The draw now makes Group ‘D’ open with both Bandari and Stima needing a win in their last matches to have hopes of qualification to the quarters

Bandari’s U-19 side came from a goal down to force a draw with Western Stima during the ongoing Kenyan Premier tournament at City Stadium on Thursday

The draw now throws Group ‘D’ open with both Bandari and Stima needing a win in their last matches to have hopes of qualification to the quarters. AFC Leopards lead the Group with four points.

Stima started the match the better side and created the early chances. Baron Jobita had the best chance to break the deadlock in the 18th minute but he failed to beat keeper Rajab Chai. However, Stima got the much needed goal in the 24th minute, thanks to Rajab Chai’s howler to allow Maurice Owino a goal.

Owino had struck a seemingly harmless free-kick but Chai let the ball slip right between his hands. Stima continued to dominate the game and their tall striker Jobita was the weakest link of the team, throwing away possession cheaply after his team mates had struggled from the back.

Bandari got the equalizer in the 42nd minute through captain John Otieno who beat the offside trap from Mohammed Nabil’s freekick to calmly slot past the Stima keeper Andika.

In the second period, the Coastal side were a rejuvenated lot and they won support from the crowd with their typical coastal football; passing and wonderful moves. However, they were let down by poor strategy in the final third with Swaleh Mudhafar particularly guilty of giving away possession.

Said Mohammed turned out to be the crowd’s favorite with his deft touches and swift moves but again, their ‘sexy football’ never bore results of a goal.

On the hour mark, Stima had a chance to make it two but Alfred Wekesa failed to hit the back of the net even after taking the ball over Bandari keeper, hesitating to allow the defense to come back and block his tap in.

Bandari grew in the final minutes of the game and with 15 minutes to play, the dazzling Said Muhammed had a shot rattle the bar on his left foot after going past two defenders.

In the final minute of the game, Bandari were denied what looked like a clear penaly after Said was swept down on the left, having left his marker for dead. Both teams now have two points from two matches. Bandari will meet AFC Leopards in their last match of the Group while Stima face neighbors Kakamega Homeboyz.

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