NAIROBI, Kenya, November 18 – While most attention has been fixed on the title race and the battle to avoid the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) axe, the league’s finale continue on Friday when Mathare United welcome Western Stima at Nyayo.
It’s been a bumper festival for domestic football that was set off on Tuesday when Harambee Stars made light work of Seychelles to book their place in the 2014 World Cup Africa qualifiers group stage.
Sofapaka and AFC Leopards won their Wednesday clashes against plucky Chemelil and champions Ulinzi in a double header that had ramifications on the title race as the titleholders missed the chance to edge to the summit.
On Thursday, Gor Mahia atoned for their opening day defeat to Rangers in a first half goal blitz that ended 3-1 in favour of K’Ogalo who had the added satisfaction of leapfrogging their arch-nemesis Leopards to the fourth position on the log.
“It’s great considering we lost in the first leg 3-0 so it’s sweet revenge. We had a strategy and we knew that if we came out strongly in the first ten minutes we would get a goal and that is what happened,” Gor captain Jerim Onyango told SuperSport.
One of the reasons why this week’s fixtures have been played with the intensity of cup finals is inspired by the fact there is reward for the finishing position at the end of the season.
Mathare, the 2008 champions who have faded badly since are guaranteed of top flight football after flirting with relegation and their last outing was a 4-1 hiding at the hands of Thika United.
Despite their woes, Salim Ali are tricky customers especially at their adopted Nyayo Stadium home turf and their last game there saw them hold Leopards to a 2-2 draw after racing to a 2-0 first half lead.
For Stima, their high flying start to the season cooled off in the second leg but they are keen to finish among the first eight to guarantee their entry in the KPL Top 8 competition that they reached the semis earlier this year.
On Saturday, leaders Tusker play their penultimate fixture with a visit to Naivasha to face Karuturi Sports who suspended their head coach James Nandwa.
With their hosts in disarray, the bottlers should ideally have no problems in brewing the three points.
Bandari welcome Thika United at Mbaraki stadium in Mombasa knowing another win could haul them off the bottom two with City Stars who are a point ahead facing the spirited Sony Sugar also at home.
Both fixtures could alter the relegation mathematics at the end of Saturday’s programme that will also witness Ulinzi clash with Chemelil Sugar with both sides coming off midweek defeats.
Condemned Congo United will be on a face saving mission when they welcome KCB to Mombasa in the only Sunday match.