No sooner had the sun made a breakthrough of the dull clouds that were trying to cover the sky than the shrill of the referee rang loud to kick off the match. This was a match between 2 teams that had lost their respective matches in the last match day. Both were looking to get a good result. Mombasa Eagles have shown to be poor travelers having not picked up a point in their 2 away matches. Changamwe were focused on getting a win.
The first half with the home team trying to get an early goal. The visitors also had the same plans as both teams made runs into the danger areas but there was no early goal. It was a high tempo match and also very physical. Changamwe seem to settle quickly between the two. They got freekicks around our D but none tested the keeper.
Just after midway through the first half, a thunderous shot that almost ripped the Eagles net brought loud cheers and dancing amongst the players and their fans. Changamwe had scored and taken the lead. The Eagles have themselves to blame as they didn’t clear their lines well. Ouma keeping goal managed to just touch the ball from a nicely floated corner. That touch seemed to have prevented a goal but the ball dropped nicely for a CFC forward who wasn’t marked. He didn’t need a second invitation to strike the ball and strike the ball he did. Frustrated looks on the MEFC players. Another game no clean sheet.
In our next foray into their half saw us level the scores. An overhead pass from the defense cleared the forwards and midfielders and dropped just behind the CFC defense line. The keeper came for the ball. The defense rushed to the ball to defend. MEFC’s Paul Wafula had other destructive plans. He delightfully lobbed the keeper and even before the ball bounced into the empty net MEFC and Paul were running to the corner to celebrate the equalizer. Poor keeper, everyone was on his case for coming out and giving an easy goal. 1-1.
Who would strike the next punch? From the looks of things both teams were determined to score but the contest became even more physical with tackles flying. Going to away games guarantees you one thing, the referee will always give the home team the benefit of doubt and so we suffered from underhand tackling which the referees turned a blind eye to. After several attempts of asking him to call the fouls and seeing no action from him we returned our focus to the game. Half time seem to come very fast.
The second half started. The intensity going up a notch. MEFC decided to get stuck in. Every ball was challenged for. Majority of the 50/50 ball were won by MEFC. The focus was on the ball and no more asking for the ref to intervene. Out of every 4 chances created MEFC did 3. The home side were on the ropes with their energy down and their intensity not matching the visitors. MEFC had 2 good chances and 1 great chance but it failed to convert. A bizarre offside call was made by the referee that spared CFC’s blushes. A series of substitutes from the MEFC end gave some breathing room to CFC which saw them start coming back at the MEFC. Soon the tide had changed and the home side were carrying a bigger threat. Ouma did well to turn a good shot round the post for a corner. He also gathered another shot aimed at his goal. All hands-on deck for the visitors at their box with the occasional foray forward to counter the pressure. A corner kick for CFC nearly gave them the winner but with a determination to not give them an inch MEFC defended with their lives.
The referee’s final whistle brought an end to a very intense, physical and exciting match that despite only two goals it had a lot of excitement. 1-1 is how it ended