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New league leaders Tusker keep feet on ground

Monday November 04 2019
By DAVID KWALIMWA

The usual suspects appear to have taken charge of the proceedings in the Kenyan Premier League after eight rounds of matches.

After the weekend assignments, past league winners champions Tusker and AFC Leopards have joined defending champions Gor Mahia in the top-three positions on the 18-team standings.

At the same time KCB, Kakamega Homeboyz, Bandari, and Posta Rangers are located where they have always been — in mid-table — while newly promoted Kisumu All Stars, struggling duo Sony Sugar and Chemelil Sugar, plus fading Kariobangi Sharks appear to be battling relegation.

Tusker assumed pole position of the table after local boy Timothy Otieno masterminded a 3-2 win over Nzoia Sugar by scoring the opening goal and assisting another.

The brewers have now won in four of their last five games but coach Robert Matano, a two-time winner of this competition, says there is no reason to celebrate, yet.

“We lost to Ulinzi and have won today (Saturday) so that’s good. But we lost to Gor Mahia in our first match which tells us we need to be consistent if we are to compete,” the veteran coach explained.

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Also impressive so far this season is AFC Leopards, under the guidance of new chairman Dan Shikanda, Rwandan coach Casa Mbungo, and former Kenya international Anthony Kimani who is the team’s assistant coach.

Leopards earned a barren draw against Ulinzi Stars in an entertaining contest in Machakos.

The results would have gone Leopards way if marksmen Whyvonne Isuza and John Mark Makwatta would have converted easy chances late on.

Ingwe are now unbeaten in seven league matches.

Meanwhile, All Stars, Sony and Chemelil are faring badly at the wrong end of the table. Each of the teams are displaying relegation form after failing to win each of their last five games.

But Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi will be impressed by the form of forwards Otieno, Makwatta and Elvis Rupia who helped himself to a hat-trick as Wazito — under new coach Melis Medo — beat Sony Sugar 4-3 in Machakos.

Gor Mahia and Bandari will resume league action this week.

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