Football Football

The KPL grand finale is on


NAIROBI, Kenya, November 14- For the second successive season, two teams stand on the throes of being crowned Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions with the grand finale on this Saturday.

It’s a case of same script, different cast, the Hollywood scenario league management and sponsors must be relishing as they attempt to market it as a gripping competition.

Last year titleholders Ulinzi held a one point advantage against Gor Mahia with a game to play and this time around, 2007 champions Tusker FC are enjoying a similar cushion against the soldiers.

“I have left it all to God,” Ulinzi head coach, Benjamin Nyangweso, who saw his side blow the chance to be on the box seat by losing to Sofapaka 2-0 on Tuesday said on Thursday.

He celebrated his first title as coach in Nakuru when his side ran out 2-0 victors over Karuturi as Gor struggled to a barren stalemate by Nairobi City Stars at Nairobi’s City Stadium.

“We will focus on doing what we have to do in our match and we will not focus on what will be happening in the Tusker match. We cannot undo what happened and it was disappointing but we have a game to play and this is football, anything can happen,” he added.

Once again, the military men who saw their two-matches-in-hand advantage over Tusker nullified by loses to AFC Leopards and Sofapaka inside a week will turn out for their last match at their Afraha Stadium fortress this time to face Rangers FC.

“I must admit Tuesday was a blow to my players but they have recovered from the setback to focus on Saturday’s game. There is nothing more I can ask from them. They have fought every step of the way and who knows, they could get a reward at the end,” Nyangweso stated.

On the other side of the coin, Tusker FC who have seen their own march to the title curtailed by a 1-1 stalemate at lowly Karuturi in Naivasha a fortnight ago are taking nothing to chance.

Coach Sammy Omollo, who endured the nightmare of relegation with Mahakama last season before re-inventing himself at Tusker, took his charges to Kisumu to plot how to not bottle their chance.

They will be based there until travelling to Mumias on Saturday to face doomed Congo United knowing victory of any sort or the alternative of matching Ulinzi Stars result will see them lift the trophy for the first time since 2007.

“They have nothing to lose and we are taking no chances with this game. We are under no pressure at all but we are not celebrating anything yet,” Omollo quipped.

The KPL has prepared two trophies, the genuine big eared diadem and a replica to take to Nakuru and Mumias for any eventuality, the second campaign in succession they are doing so.

While the championship race will be the intriguing spectacle on Saturday, the relegation battle offers the key sub plot.

Coast side Bandari hold a two point advantage over City Stars in the race to join Congo in the KPL scrap heap. The Dockers travel to face a Chemelil side that has not won in six matches while City Stars are at home to Karuturi who have nothing to lose.