Goalkeeper Brian Marani punched out a penalty kick to secure three important points for Bungoma Superstars against Kona Rangers in the FKF Division One Zone B League.
The 86th minute incident had threatened to cancel Daniel Juma’s opener in what could have turned out to be another disappointing evening for Frankline Musumba’s boys.
Referee Fred Romido quickly pointed to the spot after a handball but Marani, standing in for Shaibu Taula, dived correctly to the right to punch the ball out for a then fruitless corner kick.
Marani’s first call-to-action came in the 9th minute when he made two consecutive saves from a low cross within his box and a rebounce.
Musumba had made four changes from the previous losing side in Mumias, bringing in Gregory Alubwana for Levy Wesonga, Kelvin Sifuma for Ambrose Simiyu and Sam Wekesa for the injured Jeremiah Juma respectively.
Musumba also switched from his traditional 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 with Victor Wanyonyi and Sifuma controlling the defensive midfield while Betwel Musasia and Iyan Kong’ani surging forward to help Wekesa and Juma in the attack.
Musumba’s tricks seemed to bear fruits when a one-touch exchange in the box saw the ball raise over the bar from Musasia’s close volley after receiving low cross from Daniel Juma in the 12th minute.
The Superstars could have made it 3-0 by half time after bottling open chances through Sam Wekesa.
Musumba introduced Kennedy Oloo for Betwel Musasia in the 50th minute and the new blood had several opportunities to open the scoreline.
The real moment came in the 67th minute after Juma cheated the defense to sneak away with the ball past the visiting goalkeeper who was left helpless on the ground to put the home side ahead.
FULL TIME from Kiwanja Ndege.
Thank you everyone for the support. pic.twitter.com/X6VDcKfKY3
— BungomaSuperstarsFC (@BungomaSStarsFC) March 12, 2022
Musumba rested Kong’ani for Meshack Okirodi three minutes later and the new sub emailed several balls to the attackers who could have extended the lead.
Coaches Frankline Musumba has hailed his boy’s team work, saying the team played as a unit.
“Everyone was strong and determined to fight for the team and the results you see is the sweat of our team work,” he said in his post-match briefing.
The win now lifts Bungoma Superstars to 8 points from six matches after a slow start of the season.
BUNGOMA SUPERSTARS LINEUP
32. Brian Marani (GK);
02. Hatil Wekesa
14. Wilson Werunga
03. Gregory Alubwana
04. Ezekiel Simiyu;
05. Victor Wanyonyi (©️)
06. Kelvin Sifuma
15. Iyan Kong’ani ⬇️
16. Betwel Musasia;⬇️
10. Daniel Juma
07. Sam Wekesa
13. Francis Mukhebi
08. Kennedy Oloo⬆️
17. Augustine Wanyonyi
18. Meshack Okirodi⬆️
11. Levy Wesonga
09. Anthony Omondi
19. Mwinyi Wafula