K’Ogallo wading in uncharted KPL waters
For the first time since 2016 when Tusker emerged from the blue to be crowned Kenyan champions, the race for Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title is not a straight forward Gor Mahia affair.
Current leaders Tusker and second-placed Kakamega Homeboyz have both taken the division by its scruff with a steely determination to end K’Ogalo’s three-year hegemony.
Tusker lead the table on 34 points, one ahead of Homeboyz and two ahead of K’Ogalo heading into the final match day of the first leg.
K’Ogalo are three games short but look vulnerable with their financial difficulties and the top two are more than ready and capable of exploiting the weakness. Tusker head to the coast for a date with a wobbly Bandari who have lost more games than have won this season.
Mbaraki Stadium which, has been a cauldron for Bandari in recent years, is no longer fallible.
Robert Matano who on Thursday signed maverick winger Brian Marita from AFC Leopards and Chris Ochieng from Mathare has sensed Gor’s vulnerability is prepared to throw everything in his arsenal to nick all available points.
“The league is like a marathon with games in every turn and corner. The more points you pick will determine where you are at the end. We are on top but others are also keen to get there so must get points home and away to stay there.
“Mbaraki is a very difficult ground to get points but we are prepared and we are on a good roll. Hopefully, we’ll get the points needed but it is going to be difficult. They are under pressure to rediscover their form and that makes them dangerous,” said Matano
Second-placed Homeboyz host Gor whose players boycotted training from Thursday owing to non-payment of salaries. K’Ogalo will surely be vulnerable in Bukhungu against a side that has scored the second highest number of goals in the division this season.
A good result for Homeboyz will negate one of the three games in hand Gor have over the rest. Allan Wanga and Peter Thiong’o have been prolific for Nicholas Muyoti’s Homeboyz and with Gor players skipping training every other week Homeboyz have the chance to exert their revenge for a humiliating first leg drubbing in Kisumu.
Struggling AFC Leopards host moneybags Wazito at Kenyatta Stadium with both teams in dire need of victory. Wazito have spent big on players and foreign coach but have just two victories all season. A good result by Nzoia Sugar and Kisumu All Stars would plunge Wazito into the relegation quagmire.
Leopards on the other hand are hemorrhaging players, a worrying trend that could spiral out of control. The 12-time champions and seventh on the log and surprised many with their resounding victory over Zoo only to be brought back down to earth by Posta Rangers.
- James Magayi