Could this be Thika United season?

By nesta kizito
Jul 02, 2013

Rank outsiders Thika United have as good as ‘won’ the first leg of the Kenyan Premier League after the weekend matches.

With 15 matches already played, Thika are sitting pretty at the top of the table with 27 points. Although Thika are winless in three matches, the three consecutive draws that they have strung up have been good enough for them to open a three-point lead at the top.

Infact, in five matches, John Kamau’s men have only won once and drawn four times with three goals to show for.

But some reluctance by the chasing pack to cash in on Thika’s stuttering campaign has worked to the team’s advantage.

Nevertheless, Thika will still take credit for getting something out their recent fixtures which been on the road against very tough opposition.

In their last two matches, Thika played top guns Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards in hostile away territory but somehow managed to contain their rivals with vitals draws.

On Monday the team rode its luck against a fired up Leopards to walk out of the Nyayo National Stadium unscathed in match that ended 1-1.

Fifteen down and fifteen more to go, the team can now dare to dream. To make it even better, the team is already in the finals of the KPL top 8 tournament where they will face off with reigning league champions Tusker.

Although coach Kamau has remained modest throughout by repeatedly saying that there is still a long way to go, this could just be Thika’s best season yet.

“We are not getting carried away.There is still a long way to go before the season is decided but we are determined to give it our best shot,” Kamau said after the match against Leopards.

Threat posed by perennial contenders

But Thika will be wary of the threat that perennial contenders led by Gor Mahia, Tusker, Sofapaka, Leopards and of course surprise packages Bandari will pose in the second leg.

Presently, Bandari are Thika’s nearest challenges with 24 points have frustrated Gor Mahia to a barren draw on Sunday at City Stadium, but it is the latter that stand a chance of overhauling the leaders.

K’Ogalo have 23 points from 13 matches, and will surpass Thika by two points should they win their last two matches of the first leg.

Sofapaka have experienced a blip in recent matches but they too are not lurking far away. Batoto ba Mungu are sixth on the log with 22 points after losing and drawing in their last two matches.

Ahead of them are early season leaders KCB and Chemelil Sugar who sneaked back into the picture with crucial ins at the weekend.

The other usual suspects, Tusker and Leopards, are further behind in position nine and ten although the former, with 20 points from 13 matches can move to within just one point of the leaders.

The relegation dog fight is also shaping up into a three-way battle between debutants Kakamega Homeboyz, Muhoroni Youth and Karuturi Sports who occupy the last three spots.

Homeboyz prop the table with 10 points while Muhoroni and Karuturi are tied on 13 points.

The league winners in 2008, Mathare United, who lost 0-1 to Nairobi City Stars at the weekend, could also be sucked into the survival battle if they fail to turn around their fortunes in coming matches. The Slum Boys have amassed 15 points in fourteen outings.