MACHAKOS, August 8- Bottom clubs Nakuru All Stars and Nairobi City Stars celebrated huge upset victories over fading giants AFC Leopards and 2008 champions, Mathare United, in what they hope will spark their SportPesa Premier League survival bids.
All Stars who have propped the table for the large part of the season hunted down and skinned Leopards 2-1 at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru while City Stars who are just above them silencing Mathare 2-0 at Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium.
Muhoroni Youth, another side that flirted with the drop continued their surge up the table when they prevailed 1-0 over Thika United at their backyard.
After stuttering through games since head coach, Zradvko Logarusic, caused unrest in the Den after stepping down from head coach role over unpaid dues three weeks ago, Leopards finally cracked in Nakuru as the home side completed a deserved victory for the most resounding result of the day.
In only their second win of the season, Bebeto Lwamba raced clear off a Leopards defence standing high up in the field to lob Lucas Indeche from a one-on-one situation w on 14 minutes for his fourth goal of the season, one shy of club top scorer Boniface Akenga.
Leopards levelled six minutes later with a firm header from Lamine Diallo.
Former Harambee Stars winger and mid-season signing, Patrick Oboya, sunk the winning goal after squeezing his shot past Indeche in the 69th minute.
“Our strategy for this leg is working,” All Stars coach Peter Okidi told kpl.co.ke as he soaked in the major scalp that he hopes will spark their unlikely fight to avoid the chop.
– ‘Kingi’ power-
At Nyayo, former Mathare born and bred head coach, Gabriel ‘Kingi’ Njoroge, enjoyed doing one over the Slum Boys who gave him the platform to rise through the ranks when his City Stars side powered to a convincing victory.
Ebrima Sanneh and Jimmy Bageya scored the goals that caused the damage to Stanley Okumbi’s Mathare to move Stars to withing two points of 14th place Sony Sugar who are nervously looking over their shoulders.
“Beating Mathare United is a big feat for me; it is also emotional not just because it is my first win here but also because Mathare United is a team that I have been associated with for so long. It feels good to finally get this win,” Njoroge said post-match.
At Muhoroni Stadium, the home side notched a fourth consecutive win to scale to the top of the form table, remaining unbeaten in seven.
Wycliffe Nyangechi drilled home a free kick in the 65th minute as new man in charge Paul Nkata basked in Muhoroni’s rich vein in form.
On Sunday, 2010 champions Ulinzi Stars have the chance to move to second and three points adrift of champions and leaders Gor Mahia, who have four games at hand when they travel to Sony seeking to pile on their woes in their desperate battle to avoid slipping to the drop zone.
Ten-time champions Tusker who were brought crashing down to earth by Mathare last weekend host Western Stima who are winless in three full of confidence after thumping them 3-1 in the first leg.
Another struggling sugar-belt side, Chemelil Sugar travel to face Bandari in Mombasa smarting from a 2-1 home defeat by Muhoroni with the dockers who forced Leopards to a 1-1draw on Monday.