Race to stay up hots up in KPL

Friday November 10 2017

Thika United's Eugene Mukangula in action during their SportPesa Premier League match against Tusker on November 5, 2017 at the Ruaraka grounds. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |

Thika United's Eugene Mukangula in action during their SportPesa Premier League match against Tusker on November 5, 2017 at the Ruaraka grounds. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

By CELLESTINE OLILO
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Just who will beat the chop?

With Muhoroni Youth already relegated, five teams are now in a tight race to avoid relegation as the penultimate round of SportPesa Pemier League goes down this weekend.

Last weekend saw Muhoroni Youth end their five-year stay in the top flight league after an embarrassing 7-0 loss to Kariobangi Sharks.

Debutantes Zoo Kericho and Nakumatt, former champions Mathare United, Thika United and Western Stima are in the fight of their lives as they battle to pull themselves out of the drop zone.

Of the five teams, second from bottom Western Stima face a daunting task as they require maximum points in their last two matches of the season and hope that other teams around the red zone drop points.

Thika and Mathare – on 35 points each - need four points from their remaining two matches, while Zoo and Nakumatt require a win each in order to sail to safety. The math between Zoo Kericho and Thika United, which was initially scheduled for Saturday in Kisumu, was however postponed Friday without any explanation.

STIMA AT HOME

Stima will be at their Kisumu backyard Saturday afternoon when they tackle second-placed Posta Rangers.

Stima’s Ugandan coach Richard Makumi knows the task at hand but believes they can pull a miracle escape.

“This is not an easy situation for any coach. We have to win both games to survive, meaning that there is absolutely no room for mistakes,” said Makumi.

“I have spoken with the players and asked them to forget about relegation for now, and just focus on giving their best during the match so that we can get the three points.”

Makumi will be without defender Geoffrey Ochieng who has been suspended for collecting five yellow cards.

Mathare United will host relegated Muhoroni Youth at Ruaraka Grounds today from 2pm while Nakumatt will be away to Sony Sugar in Awendo from 3pm.

Meanwhile, the golden boot race is also taking shape, with Kariobangi Sharks striker Masoud Juma leading the charts with 15 goals.

Juma however faces stiff opposition from Meddie Kagere, Jacques Tuyisenge and Kepha Aswani who are all tied on second place with three goals less.

FIXTURES

Saturday:

Mathare United v Muhoroni Youth (Ruaraka Grounds, 2pm)

Bandari v Ulinzi Stars (Mbaraki Grounds, Mombasa, 3pm)

Kakamega Homeboyz v Gor Mahia (Mumias Sports Complex, 3pm)

Kariobangi Sharks v Nzoia Sugar (Camp Toyoyo, Jericho, 3pm)

Sony Sugar v Nakumatt (Awendo Green Stadium, Migori, 3pm)

Tusker v Sofapaka (Ruaraka Grounds, 4.15pm)

Western Stima v Posta Rangers (Moi Stadium, Kisumu, 4.15pm)

Sunday:

AFC Leopards v Chemelil Sugar (Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, 3pm)