Tusker dethrone Gor Mahia as KPL champions?

By alex wafula
Oct 16, 2021
  • Paul Nkata, the Tusker FC coach has the KPL title in sight after his side beat Bandari 1-0 to go seven points clear at the top of the table. (SNA. File Photo)

With two wins in the remaining four games of the season, Paul Nkata is assured his Tusker FC side will be crowned Kenyan Premier League champions.

The brewers went seven clear at the top of the standings after a hard fought 1-0 win over Bandari at the Mbaraki Complex, Ghanaian striker Stephen Owusu scoring merely 30 seconds after coming on late in the second half.

The joy of the three points was evident on Nkata’s face as he raced towards the hero Owusu immediately after the final whistle, embracing him in fatherly love and tapping his head in untold appreciation.

“It is not over yet. We still have four games but if we can get to win then next two, I know we will be champions. The road is not yet clear. We have tough assignments coming up this week including the final of the GOtv Shield and we have to put our heads up,” Nkata said after the match.

The brewers had chances to win the game from early on, but they could not execute. They however had Owusu to thank after his 84th minute heroics.

Just after racing to come in for Ekaliani Ndolo, the burly forward rose at the far post to knock onto goal a cross Osborne Monday. Bandari keeper Wilson Obungu tried to palm the ball off, but it had already crossed the line.

Allan Wanga had the earliest chance for the brewers, a 14th minute left footed volley from a Noah Wafula which went awry.

Shariff Mohammed was forced to clear off the line for the hosts in the 20th minute after Ndolo had rounded the keeper to hit a shot on target.

Bandari were never as threatening in the final third and were forced into a change midway through the half with youngster Omar Boraafya being stretchered out injured and in his place came Danny Sserunkuma.

Importance of the three points

Knowing the importance of three points, the brewers came back guns blazing in the second half. Wanga fluffed another brilliant chance failing to beat Obungu from close range after being put through by Humphrey Mieno.

Mieno had another opportunity with a 68th minute volley from the edge of the six yard box after being picked out by a George Mandela cross.

On the other end, Bandari’s closest chance came via a David King’atua low freekick which was well handled by David Okello.

In other matches played on Saturday, all bottom three sides failed to win their matches, with City Stars and Sofapaka’s fate at the bottom of the league, almost sealed.

Both lost 1-0 against Thika United and Sony Sugar respectively. In Awendo, Massoud Juma scored the all-important goal for the sugar millers who now up their chances of squeezing into the top eight with the three points taking them to ninth on the standings with 35 points.

Batoto ba Mungu remain bottom of the standings with 16 points, eight off safety. If they lose their next two matches, then they will be relegated.

City Stars are seven points away from safety and they too will bite the dust if they lose two of their last four matches.

The Kawangware-based side lost out via a controversial Dennis Odhiambo penalty late in the second half, coming after both teams were reduced to ten men. Jimmy Bageya and Sammy Mejja were sent off in the second half for an off the ball scuffle.

KPL weekend results

Friday: Ulinzi Stars 2 AFC Leopards 2 (Afraha Stadium).

Saturday: Bandari 0 Tusker FC 1 (Mbaraki Complex), Ushuru 1 Chemelil Sugar 2, City Stars 0 Thika United 1 (Kasarani Stadium), Posta Rangers 0 Kakamega Homeboyz 0 (Ruaraka Complex), Sony Sugar 1 Sofapaka 0 (Awendo Stadium).