Football Football

Lethal trio threaten Wanga’s KPL record

Jacob Keli

NAIROBI, May 20- Gor Mahia duo; Ali Abondo and Meddie Kagere as well as AFC Leopards forward Jacob Keli are on course to shatter the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) scoring record of 21 set by El Merreikh striker, Allan Wanga in 2007 in what is shaping up to be goal-fest of a campaign.

Wanga, who had two stints at AFC Leopards before transferring to Sudan, fired Tusker FC to the 2007 when he emerged from seemingly nowhere to blaze the charts in the season the defunct National Super League was rebranded to KPL, a standard that has stood since.

However, with eight apiece, midfielder Abondo besides strikers Kagere and Keli are threatening to obliterate the record by a long mile come November with the race for the Golden Boot gathering pace three games to the mid season break.

Kagere, who emerged 2011 Cecafa Senior Challenge Cup top scorer on five goals with Amavumbi Stars of Rwanda, believes it’s possible to hit the target, only if he continues with the good form he is enjoying since joining the champions at the beginning of the year.

Inshallah (God willing), I will try to score more than 20 goals. As a striker I need to be the top scorer so I have to look for more goals; that’s what brought me here. I have to make sure I do more that is expected of me,” The 28-year-old who has had stints with Rwanda’s Rayon Sport, Uganda’s Police FC and Albania’s KF Tirana declared.

Kagere scored his best goal of the season so far in Sunday’s 5-0 demolition over Nakuru All Stars when he raced on to a Teddy Simwa poor back pass to leave keeper Shayne Indimuli for dead with a dizzying turn and back flick before planting the ball in an empty net.

“Sometimes you have to do what is impossible to be possible; I saw the keeper was in the direction where I was heading so I had to change the position of the ball to score. As strikers we always score through mistakes not by chances,” Kagere said of the breathtaking goal that is still a hot topic on social media and review shows.

Head coach, Frank Nuttall backed the forward to go for the Golden Boot.

“Kagere is doing well, he has settled despite being his first time to play in Kenya. He works hard and helps other people score goals so I’m very pleased, he has the potential of scoring many goals,” the Scotsman stated.

-Resurgent Keli-

Meddie Kagere

Keli, a 2013 KPL top scorer with 17, is out to prove critics wrong after a disappointing season by his standards on his debut at the Den where he netted eight to still emerge the club leading marksman.

“The feeling is in me, I’m just going on and on, I’m looking above 20 but time will tell. Leopards can go on and push the title; it’s all about the fans coming back because if they go away we will also go away, its two way traffic.

“Last year we were not united but right now, with problems, we have to come together because if we be disjointed then it will be hell on us. Everybody was against us the fans had written me off so I’m proving a point them a point,” he told.

Keli scored a wonder goal on Saturday against Muhoroni Youth when he shielded a Musa Mudde long ball, turned and finished with a brilliant half-volley; a goal that he said is his best for far.

“It’s my best goal. It was all about instincts; the ball landed on the right place of the boot and I didn’t have second option but to smash it home.

“It reaches a time you just have to change, nobody will change it for you and right now I’m just enjoying my moments one at a time but it’s all about team work, the coach is putting us (as) a unit but in the long run, we are suffering. I won’t lie things are ugly in the club,” he explained.

The former KCB forward was alluding to the team’s financial woes that have sparked training boycotts with the squad demanding salary arrears.

“Keli’s goal was splendid despite the fatigue that was there. We appreciate what we have seen from him. He is focused on his job which is to score goals; he needs to keep on scoring,” his assistant head coach, Yusuf Chippo underlined.

Abondo has weighed in with his contribution from an attacking midfield position and he was recognised by being the first ever recipient of the SJAK/SportPesa Player of the Month Award, celebrating the accolade by casually burying a penalty against Muhoroni to pull level with the lethal marksmen at the top of the charts.

KPL Golden Boot past winners

2007- Allan Wanga- Tusker FC (21)

2008- Francis Ouma- Mathare United (15)

2009 – John Baraza (Sofapaka) and Joseph Emeka (Tusker) 15

2010 – John Baraza (Sofapaka) 15

2011 – Stephen Waruru (Ulinzi Stars) 12

2012 – John Baraza (Sofapaka) 18

2013 – Jacob Keli (KCB) 17

2014 – Dan Sserunkuma (Gor Mahia) 16