Western Stima’s fate in Zoo Kericho and Posta Rangers’ hands

By alex wafula
Nov 10, 2017
  • Western Stima players celebrate a goal against AFC Leopards in a past match. They face relegation if results do not favor them this weekend. (SNA. File Photo)

Western Stima will be relegated from the Kenyan Premier League on Saturday if they lose to Posta Rangers and Thika United pick at least a point from Zoo Kericho in Nakuru.

Also, the powermen will be chopped off the top tier in the event they pick one point against Posta Rangers and in Nakuru, Thika beats Zoo Kericho.

Western Stima are second from bottom on the standings with 32 points, three behind 16th-placed Thika United.

The arithmetic, with two games remaining before the end of the season is to avoid the bottom two slots which are automatic relegation zones.

The Kenyan Premier League and Football Kenya Federation could agree on a promotion and relegation criteria next week.

Both parties agree that the bottom two finishers will be automatically relegated while the 16th-placed team will proceed to a play off with the third-placed team from the National Super League.

At the moment, the teams fighting to avoid being dragged into the red zone are Western Stima, Thika United and Mathare United. Thika United and the Slum Boys are both on 35 points, separated by goal difference with Thika United placed 16th.

Western Stima are in danger of joining Muhoroni Youth into next year’s National Super League.

“We are in a tricky situation and have to give our all in these last two matches. Fate is out of our hands but we are hopeful that we will be lucky. We just have to win our matches and hope the other results go our way,” Stima forward Ezekiel Otuoma stated ahead of the crucial fixture.

A scenario that would give the powermen a last chance into the final day of the season is if they win and Thika United lose in Nakuru to Zoo Kericho.

If by the end of the evening the score-lines in such a scenario are favorable, Western Stima who are on -12 goal difference might swap places with Thika United who are on -9.

Late surge

Having given themselves a chance with a late surge that has seen them pick back-to-back 1-0 wins, Nicholas Muyoti’s Thika United are unlikely to let that chance slip.

“We still don’t know the criteria, but our target is to win the remaining two matches then wait for the outcome. So far we have been doing well defensively. I am hoping we win this weekend to give ourselves a real chance,” Muyoti said.

Against a side that has not won over the last five matches and one they beat 1-0 in the first leg, Thika United will fancy their chances.

Muyoti concedes it will not be an easy tie especially with the league’s new comers eying a top 10 finish. He is confident his charges have the firepower and hunger to ensure one more season in the top flight.

Western Stima have a tall order against a resurgent Posta Rangers side who have three back to back wins and a draw in their last fixtures which has propelled Sammy Omollo’s men to second on the log.

The mailmen say they will not travel to Kisumu to be 'flower boys' to anyone’s party or do anyone a favor.

“For us, the target is to get maximum points. We set targets in the beginning of the season and are working on them. Those points are important for us,” Omollo noted.

Easy ride

Meanwhile, Mathare United seems to have an easy ride this weekend as they face a relegated Muhoroni Youth at Ruaraka.

Muhoroni have conceded 13 goals in two matches and are going through the motions to complete their fixtures with the team’s future still in the balance.

The sugarbelt side has not shown any fight nor determination to color off their last of five years in top flight with some honor. This, on paper, seems like a fixture Mathare United will relish. 

With Massoud Juma having struck four times against Muhoroni last weekend to go top of the goal scorers’ chart, Mathare’s Chrispin Oduor might be salivating ahead of the fixture as he sees an opportunity to increase his tally of 10 to move into the golden boot podium.

KPL weekend fixtures (All games kick off at 3 p.m. unless stated)

Saturday: Mathare United v Muhoroni Youth (2 p.m.), Tusker FC v Sofapaka (4 p.m. Moi Sports Centre Kasarani), Zoo Kericho v Thika United (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru), Bandari v Ulinzi Stars (Mbaraki Complex, Mombasa), Kakamega Homeboyz v Gor Mahia (Mumias Complex), Western Stima v Posta Rangers (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), SoNy Sugar v Nakumatt (Awendo Stadium).

Sunday: AFC Leopards v Chemelil Sugar (Moi International Sports Centre,  Kasarani).