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Five things we learned from KPL Round Two

Thursday September 19 2019

Sofapaka forward Kepha Aswani (right) vies for the ball with Ulinzi Stars defender George Omondi during their Kenya Premier League match at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru on September 14, 2019. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE |

Sofapaka forward Kepha Aswani (right) vies for the ball with Ulinzi Stars defender George Omondi during their Kenya Premier League match at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru on September 14, 2019. PHOTO | JOHN NJOROGE |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

SAMUEL GACHARIRA
By SAMUEL GACHARIRA
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The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) Round Two matches concluded on Wednesday after Bandari resumed league action with a laboured 3-2 win over Zoo Kericho in Mombasa.

The other rescheduled match was postponed by the league’s management body citing logistical challenges, which means champions Gor Mahia sat out of action.

Bandari and Sony Sugar are the only teams that won in Match Day Two as the other five matches end in stalemates. Only 12 goals were scored as KCB moved top on goal difference.

Here, Nation Sport presents five things we learnt from KPL Round Two.

Bandari making continental experience count

After finishing second for two consecutive seasons, the expectation around the Coast is that Bandari can go a notch higher this season and challenge for the title.

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The Dockers showed that they have the pedigree to be champions with the memorable comeback against Zoo. Trailing by two goals at half-time, Bernard Mwalala’s charges turned up in the second half with Yema Mwana, William Wadri and Mohamed Katana getting the goals.

Even on bad days like on Wednesday when Bandari had a poor first half, champions are expected to win. With more continental action beckoning, Mwalala will hope his side can pick more experience and develop the character and mental strength that can end Gor’s dominance on the local scene.

Heads will soon roll at Wazito

After 180 minutes in the topflight league, Wazito only have a penalty goal and a clean sheet to show. By their lofty standards in preseason where they spent a fortune in transfers, Wazito have started slowly.

Two points from two matches against teams that have almost quarter their budget is unacceptable. The tweet from the club’s owner Ricardo Badoer summed up yet another frustrating afternoon against Western Stima.

"Second game and Second Draw for Wazito FC. Our Goalie Kevin for sure saved our a**!!! He gets 10 points while rest of the team get F as in f****** shit. We have alot of work on our hands.

Kelvin Omondi’s clean sheet was the only positive despite seven changes to the first 11. Ali Abondo, Elvis Rupia and Musa Masika all featured in attack, but there were no goals.

Tougher fixtures await Wazito and after uninspiring displays in their last two matches, pressure is piling on the technical bench to deliver.

Last season, Muhammed Mchulla faced the sack after going for three matches without a win in the NSL and if Badoer’s tweet is anything to go by, heads will soon roll at Wazito if results don’t improve.

AFC Leopards sharpening their claws

AFC Leopards are yet to win this season but there were signs of better days ahead after their display against Kariobangi Sharks.

John Makwatta’s showed why Ingwe rushed to sign him on deadline day scoring a goal which was unfortunately ruled out for offside.

Another late signing Paul Were was at his usual destructive best on the left and were it not for a man-of-the-match performance from Sharks goalkeeper Brian Bwire, Ingwe could have walked home with maximum points.

The expectation from fans is that the trio of Makwatta, Were and perhaps Vincent Oburu, will form a fierce combination once they gel, and coach Casa Mbungo can only hope his attack can tick soon.

Tusker don’t look convincing yet

After being thrashed 5-2 by Gor Mahia in the opener, Tusker looked to have bounced back with a 1-0 win over Mathare United until the 92nd minute.

Deep in stoppage time, they conceded and Robert Matano was left fuming. However, the truth is that this Tusker side does not look convincing in almost all departments.

In the absence of Boniface Muchiri, there was no urgency in the attacking third and Timothy Otieno looked out of sorts until he resurfaced with the penalty.

Hashim Sempala replaced Peter Nzuki, but the Ugandan no longer imposes himself on opponents. At the back, Eugene Asike was the new inclusion yet there was lack of leadership as the brewers failed to control the game and hold on to their slim advantage.

Tusker have won the title 11 times, but the current team doesn’t look like they can deliver the 12th one.

Youthful Posta is an exciting team to watch

After relying too much on experienced players, Posta Rangers adopted a different approach this season.

Sammy Omollo, in his second stint at the club, has gambled with youth and they have not disappointed. The mailmen are ranked third on the log and the youngsters are showing good promise.

The pair of William Odero and new signing Jackson Dwang’ look like they have been playing together since birth, while Eliud Lokuwam and George Oporia have justified their acquisitions with crucial goals.

Oporia came from the bench to snatch the equaliser against Kakamega Homeboyz and Omollo must be impressed by how the youngsters have grabbed their opportunities.

With experienced legs such as Joseph Mbugi, Jairus Adira, Gerson Likono and Charles Odette still in the team, Posta is an exciting team to watch.

The mood at General Post Office (GPO) is that this team will not be anywhere close to relegation this season.

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