Fortune Sacco, Coast Stima off to promising starts in NSL
Barry Silah @obel_barry
Coast Stima and Fortune Sacco comfortably won their first matches in the Betika National Super League to make an early statement of intent.
In what was a bit of a lethargic start due to a long stay out of active football, all teams seemed to have issues with fitness and was evident even among the victors.
For Coast Stima who beat Andrew Kanuli’s debutants Mwatate United 2-0 at Wundanyi Stadium courtesy of a Lucky Kaingu brace, it is just the beginning of good tidings.
Club CEO David Opiyo said despite having lost many key players, his team was still up to the task.
“It is one game at a time for us so we cannot overhype things. However, it is a positive start and despite the many changes in the team, we want to go all the way. We have to believe that we are very much capable,” he said.
Visiting Fortune Sacco on their part humbled hosts Mt Kenya United 2-0 at GEMS Cambridge Grounds in Karen, Nairobi.
It was a grand performance by the Kerugoya-based side who now stand second on the log after the first round of games.
Meanwhile, relegated side Chemelil Sugar FC stunned Shabana FC 1-0 at Moi Stadium, Kisumu, despite having been allegedly dissolved due to financial handicaps.
Indeed, the team was hastily assembled for this match with a few days to train in what is worrying development given the fact that there are no guarantees they will honour other matches.
Elsewhere at Serani Grounds, FC Talanta beat hosts Modern Coast Rangers 2-1 with new coach Ken Kenyatta formerly of Ushuru FC taking the helm.
At Karuturi Grounds in Naivasha, another cash-strapped side Kisumu All-Stars under Salim Babu forced a 1-1 draw away to Kenya Police in a tough encounter to end the day with shared spoils. “It was a good effort from the boys after some adjustments,” said Babu.
In another clash, Nairobi Stima under Charles Omondi tied with Soy United on Saturday at Thika Stadium.
The debutants made a good account of themselves with a disciplined and brave display against the team which missed the premier league by a whisker in the last campaign.
In other matches held at the weekend, newcomers Silibwet stunned Sony Sugar 3-2 at Bomet Stadium. It was Juma Abdalla’s new mission as head coach of the Sugar Men.
And at Ligi Ndogo, Nairobi, Muranga Seal forced Kibera Black Stars to a 1-1 draw, while Vihiga Bullets beat visiting APS Bomet 2-1 in Bukhungu.