Banker’s loss to Bandari leaves title hopes in tatters

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Gor Mahia defender Kennedy Ochieng battles for the ball with KCB FC striker Enock Agwanda during a league match in Machakos in January. Photo/PD/DAVID NDOLO

Had Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) beaten Bandari in the Kenyan Premier League round of 22 at Kenyatta Stadium on Sunday, they would have made a tremendous stride towards joining the leading pack of teams chasing the 2019/20 title.

Sadly, the bankers’ campaign suffered a severe jolt after they lost 2-1 to Bandari in a result that left coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno visibly disappointed and especially in the manner in which his charges conceded the two goals.

“We had control of the game but lost grip towards the end and these are the kind of results you get when you lose concentration.

The defensive ideas went awry and this is not good for a team aiming to clinch the title,’’ said Otieno.

“The defence let in easy goals and things need to change for the better if we are to challenge for the title,” he added. 

KCB were by far the better side in the early exchanges with Enock Agwanda particularly a big threat to Bandari’s defence.

But things would later change, the KCB defence giving leeway for Bandari striker Johanna Mwita to score two quick goals in the second half that made all the difference.

Following the loss, KCB dropped from fourth to fifth place on the table with 41 points, 10 behind leaders Gor Mahia with Ulinzi Stars replacing them following a 1-0 win over Sofapaka in Machakos on Saturday.

For eighth-placed Sofapaka, it was another bad weekend as they had only a week earlier fell by a similar margin to AFC Leopards in Narok.

Gor continue clinging onto the top spot albeit with a struggle and barely a week after a scrappy 3-2 win over Zoo Kericho, the Green Army downed Western Stima by a similar score line.

And as if to show that the top-tier league is increasingly becoming competitive, Kakamega Homeboyz had to come from two goals down to win 3-2 at home to Nzoia Sugar on Sunday.

Homeboyz look like the real challengers for Gor’s throne as they are second on the log with 47 points, just four behind K’Ogalo.

As Homeboyz were winning, misfortune struck third-placed Tusker whose title campaign received a bloat after they were forced to a 2-2 draw by relegation-haunted Kisumu All Stars, a second straight stalemate that has seen them drop four points in two weeks to slip from second to third on the table with 43 points.

Going by the rate in which bottom-placed clubs are exceeding expectations, it would be extremely risky for fancied opponents to underrate them.

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