Kenya Police, Vihiga United face date with destiny in FKF Premier League promotion playoffs

Saturday, September 18th, 2021 00:00 |
Clinton Kinanga of Kenya Police celebrate after scoring against Vihiga United during their first leg playoff tie last weekend at Mumias Stadium. Photo/PD/FRED LIKUYANI

Tension is perceptible as Kenya Police and Vihiga United lock horns in the return match of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League promotion play-off return match at the Utalii Grounds in Nairobi on Sunday.

Amongst the two combatants, it will be Police who will be filling into the pitch with the advantage of having secured a vital away goal in the 1-1 draw in the first leg clash at Mumias Complex last weekend.

As it stands, a barren draw will suffice for Police to make it to the next stage on the strength of the goal that was executed by Clinton Kinanga before Lesley Otieno restored parity for Vihiga at the sugar belt.

Vihiga United Head Coach Mike Mururi has said in no uncertain terms that they are not daunted by the score line against the law enforcers. 

“We took a lot of positives from the match in Mumias and we cannot afford to repeat the mistakes we committed.

When you give an opponent an advantage of an away goal, common sense dictates that you must be ruthless against him when you meet again and this is exactly what we shall do’’ said Mururi.

A journeyman who has previously coached Chemelil Sugar and Sofapaka, Mururi said his charges appeared to have given too much respect to the National Super League (NSL) frontrunners last season.

“There was an element of profligacy and I told the players that they must stop. This is Vihiga United and we have been playing at the top tier league and to be relegated to the NSL will be totally unacceptable.

I have instructed the players to go with their guns blazing right from the word go,” said Mururi.

But if Vihiga is oozing confidence, their defence will certainly have a lot of work to do to contain Kinanga, a very powerful player both in the air and ground and who was a nightmare to opposing defense lines in the NSL last season. 

In the meantime, Police Manager George Maelo has said it is now or never for the team in its quest to make it to the FKF Premier League for the first time ever.

Mael Has given plaudits to Police players for their incredible attitude against an experienced side in Vihiga during the first leg.

“Go out there and demonstrate that you have come of age to challenge the big boys in the top tier league.

Already, you have done us proud by getting an away goal and should go an extra mile of making it to the big stage,’’ Maelo urged the players.

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