After weekend action, Brewers open three-point lead as KCB falter with two matches to go
It now appears that Tusker FC deservedly got the premature chance to represent Kenya in the Africa Champions League even before the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) league ended as they cemented their lead in the top tier league at the weekend following a 2-0 win over Kakamega Homeboyz.
The win left Tusker still at the driving seat of the 2020/21 season with 61 points after playing as many matches even as they seemingly head to be the undisputed champions after opening a three-point advantage at the top of the log with two matches to go.
Before the weekend feat at their backyard in Ruaraka, Tusker were still leading with 58 points, same as second placed KCB who had an inferior goal aggregate.
KCB had been in a neck to neck chase for the title with Tusker but as fate would have it, they lost 2-1 to relegation-haunted Vihiga United at Mumias Complex last Friday, which was good riddance for the bottlers who are seemingly on the verge of the FKF league glory.
The last time Tusker won the gong was in 2016 but although this year’s appears theirs to lose, the team’s Head Coach Robert Matano has, for the umpteenth time, told the players not to relax and remain focused as the league nears its home stretch.
“We did ourselves a great favour of keeping the diadem’s quest in our own hands. Obviously, it was utterly important for us to collect all the three points. The attitude of my players is excellent and I urge them to continue putting in more effort in what they are supposed to do. They have to be their usual selves,” quipped Matano.
Tusker were in an uncompromising mood before a small band of noisy fans, Kakamega Homeboyz’s Brian Eshihanda scoring an own goal in the 33rd minute following a flurry of attacks by the hosts before former Zoo Kericho striker Michael Madoya sealed the scores in the 40th minute following a spadework by former Sofapaka man Rodgers Aloro.
It would have been a bigger win for Tusker had Boniface Muchiri and Henry Meja taken their chances.
Elsewhere in Mumias, relegation haunted Vihiga United lived up to their word of making life difficult to the rest of their opponents in the remaining matches by stopping KCB on their tracks.
“Today, we have stunned a league title contender and this shows that we are overly determined to evade the big chop. We now dare Kakamega Homeboyz in the Ingo Derby that will be our last fixture of the season,” said Vihiga United coach Mike Mururi.
In the meantime, despite the ignominious loss to Vihiga United who are fighting relegation, KCB coach Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno remains confident that his team can successfully challenge Tusker for the title.
“In as far as I’m concerned, we have what it takes and shall keep fighting on.
The loss by Vihiga United came as a shocker to us but we still have the skills and techniques to vanquish Tusker for the title,” said the former national team Harambee Stars handler.
Like Tusker, Kariobangi Sharks also had a fruitful weekend after they eclipsed Nzoia Sugar 3-1 in a result that increased the chances of the big fish winding up among the three top teams in the season.