Western Jaguars win playoff and KHU men's Premier League slot

By ronnie evans
Feb 26, 2021
  • Mike Malungu of Western Jaguars will be back to a familiar ground after the West Kenya-based side won the KHU hockey playoff to avoid relegation. (SNA. File Photo)

Western Jaguars stormed back into the Kenya Hockey Union Premier League following a 4-0 win over Mvita Club in their final playoffs match at the City Park Stadium on Sunday.

The Kakamega-based side finished top of the four team mini-league with nine points from three wins to end a perfect weekend campaign.

KHU had sanctioned this league to be played featuring Western Jaguars, Mvita Club, Multimedia University and Bay Club to determine the slot left by Wazalendo Youth.

Wazalendo Youth who won the national league and an automatic promotion to the men's Premier League declined due to conflict with parent club Wazalendo coupled with financial strain of having both teams in the top tier competition.

Sports News Arena understands that no sanctions will be imposed by KHU as such a scenario has happened in the past and it has been swiftly swept under the rug.

Western Jaguars had already qualified without the touch of the ball after closest challengers Multimedia University had slipped up after a 1-1 draw with Bay Club in an earlier match on Sunday.

However, that favorable result did little to slow down their resolve as coach Peter Okora fielded a strong squad.

In this match, Mike Malungu and Ken Ashimosi were instrumental. They were involved in three of their four goals.

First goal

Western Jaguars took time to settle until in the 30th minute when Malungu found space in the opposition danger area before slotting home past Suleiman Hajji in goal.

Mvita Club offered little going forward but were solid in defence, limiting their opponents from having a crack at their goal as they trailed 0-1 at the break.

Their resolve was swiftly broken in the 44th minute when a lovely interplay by Malungu and Mark Mutua freed Ashimosi who scored in his second successive game.

Kelvin Mchinji added a third in the 56th minute before Ian Inziani rounded up the scoring with virtually the last play of the match in the 70th minute for a comfortable victory.

“We are happy with the win and most importantly to have gained promotion to the top league. This was an opportunity that we could not let it pass. The players were relaxed and without the added pressure after Multimedia drew their match. We want to show the other teams that it was not a fluke but we deserve to be in the Premier League,” Western Jaguars tactician Peter Okora said.

Earlier match

In an earlier match, Multimedia University drew 1-1 with Bay Club to effectively end the students’ chances of qualification.

MMU drew first blood in the 18th minute through Gilbert Kosgei who was unmarked. Brian Lueheto equalized for Bay Club by expertly converting a penalty stroke after sending goalkeeper Robert Mwangi the wrong way.

Bay Club will now play in the National League in the upcoming season after finishing third on two points in the mini-league. Mvita Club finished fourth after losing two of their three games.

“We wanted to fight till the end and finish our campaign on a high which we did; It was very difficult to play a fast side like them but we were able to get a point. We will just have to fight in the National League and ensure that we get promotion,” Bay Club stand –in coach Tom Okuko said.

Promotion playoffs results

Friday: Western Jaguars 4 Bay Club 0, Multimedia University 4 Mvita Club 0.

Saturday: Bay Club 1 Mvita Club 1, Multimedia University 1 Western Jaguars 3.

Sunday: Bay Club 1 Multimedia University 1, Mvita Club 0 Western Jaguars 4.