The ground had been set for the high-stakes game, and as Railway players casually walked in for the long-awaited match, PSC OOT was already changed and eager to get on with the play. As expected the high turnout was proving a headache for the two coaches Mwai and Waire as they had to hold consultancy talks with Victor Fox to assist in setting up the lineup. There was no question about who was to start on goal as Babu has personalized the spot in recent times. However, it is the defense that had a few surprises, with speed proving Parkland's undoing in recent games, a center-back pairing of Gitau and Izzoh was trusted for the first time. The two have never played alongside each other and both possess similar styles in terms of aggression, decisiveness, and composure on the ball. Both very fast on their feet and good in the air would provide a safety net for Babu. No surprise for Lamkaddy to start as a fullback as he has proved that he is quite competent shutting out opponents and joining in the attack. His energy tank is also not limited to cuzo's but can also last a whole two hours running up and down the football field albeit its the basketball training coming into play. Mutua was given another shot at right back to redeem himself from his performance in the last week was termed as wanting and "kiubabi" and was looking forward to another tight encounter. Caution was the name of the game in midfield, with the selection of Steve and Makelele who are very defensive-minded and like to stick deep next to their center back. To compensate for the twin deep-lying midfielders the coaches went with pace and energy on the wings with Karani and Tiger who are both good ball-carrying wingers. For strikers, the pair of Ogochee and Sisco alternating as ten and nine was preferred to form the ultimate false 9 and disappearing 10. Both players like to drift infield to receive the ball and run at defenders which would allow them to drift to support the winger and confuse the opposing defense. It took less than five minutes for the team to confirm how much Parklands had been missing their top scorer in the last game against Seniors. Lamkaddy won the ball on the wing before threading a pinpoint pass to Sisco. Sisco was at hand to turn and dribble past an opponent, Ogochee was calling for a through ball on the right but his services were not required as Sisco pelted a cracking shot away from the reach of the goalkeeper. But who can blame the goalie Sisco had already been running and his muscles were warmed up while the goalkeeper was still frozen warming into the game, 1-0 to Parklands. The early goal awoke the match, with Railway Wanderers getting more into the match Adwet calling the shots from deep in the midfield. It was clear that Railway Wanderers were playing to their strength with short sure passes that were finding their mark hence controlling the pace of the game. PSC OOT on the other hand was a bit guilty of rushing playing and holding the balls a little too much. With two contrasting forms of play, it was no surprise that the game had become competitive with the key battle in midfield and defense. With both teams nullifying the wings, it was the central defenders that were taking the limelight. Okeke on Railway Wanderers was making a meal of Sisco and Ogochee's efforts collecting the loose ball easily while his passing range was proving difficult to deal with. On Parklands side Gitau and Izzoh were jellying in together like bread and butter, winning all duels and calming a defense that had been shaky in recent times. With the two defense playing a starring role the goalkeepers were having a holiday in Ibiza only required once in a while to collect harmless balls in the 18 areas. The calm in the defense, however, should not be mistaken with the general gameplay which was akin to a storm. Heavy tackles were being dished out in the middle of the park as every ball was being fought for. The tackles came coming in, and it was a matter of time before it started claiming victims with Adwet falling on the wrong end of Karani’s tackle forcing him out of play. As the tackles started turning ugly the referee decided to intervene and started handing out yellow cards like candy; Ogochee one for you, Izzoh another for you, Steve another for you, Railway Wanderers two more yellows for you. That seemed to do the trick as the game calmed down more saw the game's intensity also started to take a toll on the players. A quick counter by Parklands on the right had a goal-bound chance chalked off by a deliberate handball allowing Parklands to extend their lead. Up stepped Tony Tiger, trusting his left foot and the goalkeeper saw it all the way into the left corner for the second goal. Parklands were in dreamland. However, Railway Wanderers had a response making early substitutions and pressuring Parklands but Parklands resolve remained fast and the defense did not yield. In fact, Izzo was having one of his best games, collecting all the balls and having an answer for every question the Railway Wanderers striker threw at him. Presumably, they were only making him look good further rubberstamping his claim to the position and man of the match status. A defensive masterclass from Mutua, Gitau, Izzo, and Lamkaddy was at hand and even Parklands players who hoped to be substituted in for them began changing back to their home kits because you do not alter perfection. When things look too good maybe at times they are, and it only took a moment of madness to effectively alter Parklands concentration. A long ball to find Tiger in the area become a 50/50 battle between Tiger and the goalkeeper with Tiger arriving late to the ball and knocking the goalkeeper. A second yellow an early shower and straight to enjoying beer baridi for the rest of the match for Tiger. Like for like as Rasco was brought in to replace him. But as Parklands felt undone by the red card losing control and losing their heads in a scramble in their defense which allowed Railway Wanderers to get one goal back and set up a hot contest for the second half. A more refreshed Railway Wanderers came in for the second half, more determined to get the equalizer and a winner. Parkland's own Alonzi starred as the new striker a threat that is not new to Parklands and neither is it welcoming. Among all Parklands players, none has come back to haunt Parklands more than Alonzi. The left-footer known for his close control and clinical nature in front of goal has continued to punish Parklands whenever he plays against them averaging at least a goal in each encounter. He was bad news and not a threat that Parklands looked forward to but with Gitau an ace that emerged under Alonzi when he coached Parklands looking to prove to Alonzi that his lessons were well taken and Izzoh looking to provide Alonzi formal introduction to who he is, the battle for the second half had been set. However, in the early stages, it was the master who was proving difficult to contain. Alonzi was interacting with Julio seamlessly and with Adwet back on the pitch causing significant problems to Parklands defense. The once-solid defense was looking confused unable to control the deep runs from the midfield with Railway Wanderers missing two clear-cut chances. One Julio with only the goalkeeper went for the far corner but bet the goalkeeper and also the post. Another with only the goalkeeper to beat, sky-high the shot which would have been more appropriate in the nearby KCB rugby pitch than the Stima soccer pitch. With Railway Wanderers stepping up the game, an equalizer was inevitable it was only a matter of when and by whom. Koech was thrown in for Ogochee as Karani made way for Doobiz. In came Cooks for Mutua as Rasco dropped in defense. Senji Dr. was introduced for a tiring Steve as the coaches looked to solidify a win. Hayawi hayawi huwa, with Izzoh employing a man-to-man marking on Alonzi, was drawn out from the center of defense and Adwet’s well placed through ball cut through Parklands midfield and defense like a hot knife through butter. The midfield caught napping and not following Adwet’s midfield partner could only watch as they exposed Babu to a one-on-one, call the pastor, mwadhini, imam - nobody could save it. 2-2 and the game was on. Out went Sisco for Ericko as Parklands looked to awaken their attack. Senji Dr. had finally warmed his muscles and was more decisive in winning the ball and making passes. His presence had also significantly improved Makelele who had been guilty of overholding the ball and back passes. There was hope, but the question remained who will get the winning goal with Sisco out of the picture. The answer was Doobiz, as a glorious chance fell to the striker who had only the keeper to beat, the first step over had the keeper on the ground, undecided on shooting he decided to round the goalkeeper easily giving him the ball. He was lucky he looked good in a new haircut because that wasted chance was really terrible and ugly to the spectators. You could feel Babu’s screaming from his post end "unataka gani Doobiz". The next opportunity fell to Railway Wanderers Alonzi winning a free-kick and stepping up to take it. Brilliantly curving it over the wall beating the keeper and denied by the crossbar. Time was running out and opportunities were difficult to come by, for Parklands if anything was to happen it depended on Cooks and Rasco’s wing. The two left footers were combining effortlessly, two touch Cook always providing a well-weighted pass to Rasco's overlapping runs whose balls across the box found Doobiz in no man’s land and Erico too far to connect. You could hear coach Mwai and Waire debate on how they can bring in Victor Fox, however, with Kamdam not being available there was no jersey big enough to fit Victor Foxx the legendary Parklands point, man. They had to settle for Doobiz and God’s will. And in did He willed it Rasco snap cross/shot confused the goalkeeper and flew into the back of the net for an unexpected goal. Miracles do happen. 3-2 Parklands lead had been restored. But before the joy had sunk in down went Gitau having carried the team for too long, forcing the coaches into an unplanned substitution. In came Victor Soita for his debut as Lamkaddy was tasked to assist in the center of the defense. With the new substitutes starting to click in, PSC again gained an edge, Soita, and Erico reviving the right-wing as PSC took control of proceeding. Adwet was forced into a defensive tackle on Makelele who was racing on goal with freekick specialist Senji Dr. stepping in to take it. However, his poor effort was nothing but a donation to the slum gods of Mathare as his shot over the bar was picked by good Samaritans in Mathare slums. A tiring Koech was hooked off for Reno to have a taste of the pitch as the clock wound down for a famous victory. A great victory from a team that fought for every ball and played brilliantly linking up and creating chances. High intensity, passion, and competitiveness especially for the team that started, fighting for every ball and winning all duels. The coaches had a headache but got all their decisions right and a defensive masterclass from Gitau, Mutua, Lamkaddy, and man of the match Izzo. Whatever Izzoh had taken for lunch should be included in the list of foods and drinks in koroga. Next game habari in kichapo kwa Media Fc. The only thing they shall be delivering is requiem news of how they were whooped at Parklands. Remember confirmations by Thursday and payments by Friday failure to which come and cheer the team with or without the uniform.