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Tusker and Homeboyz give chase in KPL

Tuesday December 3 2019

Tusker forward Timothy Otieno (left) tussles for the ball with Bandari defender Brian Otieno (second right) as Mohamed Siraj looks on during their Kenyan Premier League match at Ruaraka grounds on December 1, 2019. PHOTO| SILA KIPLAGAT |

Tusker forward Timothy Otieno (left) tussles for the ball with Bandari defender Brian Otieno (second right) as Mohamed Siraj looks on during their Kenyan Premier League match at Ruaraka grounds on December 1, 2019. PHOTO| SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

DAVID KWALIMWA
By DAVID KWALIMWA
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With 11 rounds of matches so far played in the Kenyan Premier League, Tusker, Kakamega Homeboyz, and to some extent Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) appear the most likely teams to challenge Gor Mahia for the league title this season.

But at the wrong end of the table, Chemelil Sugar, Kisumu AllStars, plus, surprisingly, Kariobangi Sharks and even Bandari, have emerged as top candidates to join already relegated Sony Sugar in the second tier Betika Super League next season.

On a weekend where heavy rain helped highlight the poor quality of playing surfaces in the country, Tusker overcame stubborn Bandari by a solitary goal on a pitch resembling a potato farm to take over second position on the league standings.

A downpour for the better part of Saturday night proceeding to the following morning had transformed the Ruaraka Sports Ground into a water-logged pitch and with ten minutes of the match played, the surface had more mud than grass.

"We have managed a very good result under the circumstances because we had to fight very hard to control the football and string passes but I have not started thinking of winning the league yet," explained Tusker coach Robert Matano.

Only defending champions Gor Mahia are ahead of the brewers on the 18-team standings despite dropping two crucial points in the barren draw to hard-fighting Ulinzi Stars in Kisumu on Saturday.

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Homeboyz and KCB were the other biggest winners. The Kakamega based team beat Mathare 3-1 to move to third position, while the Bankers hammered struggling Sharks 5-2 to take up fourth place.

The result leaves the youthful Sharks, known for its entertaining football and swagger, in unfamiliar 15th place in the league with eight points from 12 matches.

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