NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 4 – Ushuru FC’s fight to remain in the Kenyan Premier League was dealt a major blow after they were held to a barren draw by relegated Nairobi City Stars at the Ruaraka Complex on Friday evening.
The result means Ushuru, placed 14th on the log are only four points away from the drop zone and if Sofapaka wins against Mathare United on Saturday afternoon, then the fight for survival will go down into the final day of the season.
Ken Kenyatta, the Ushuru FC head coach was incensed after the final whistle, insinuating that there might be forces outside trying to pull them off the league.
“Football is not like a letter which you can write and put in the drawer. Football is a game which is played and anybody can see. There are a lot of interests. This is more than football on the pitch,” an angered Kenyatta said before walking out of the post-match interview.
Ushuru will be keenly hoping Mathare does them a favour and at least holds Sofapaka to any kind of draw, a result that means they only need a point in their final match against Posta Rangers to survive.
But despite Kenyatta’s laments after the game, Ushuru struggled to show they are a team fighting to remain in top flight with City Stars who already had their fate sealed last week giving more of a fight than their hosts.
Nelson Marasowe came close for Ushuru in the 7th minute with a curling effort from a freekick which was inches wide before Dennis Wafula’s meek shot was calmly collected by Ronnie Kagunzi.
City Stars who approached the match with calm and less pressure had a decent chance in the 22nd minute with Oliver Maloba’s snap shot from the edge of the box going straight into Shabaan Odhoji’s arms.
The Kawangware based side had employed a high line of defence and more than five times, Ushuru were caught offside within the opening half an hour.
Jimmy Bagaye who had been a nuisance for the Ushuru backline with his pace came close to breaking the deadlock in the 32nd minute with his well taken shot from the edge of the area coming off the bar.
In the second half, City Stars continued creating more chances and Maloba should have done better with a 57th minute chance after being teed up by Bagaye, but his attempt at a fancy volley was awful, the ball going acres wide.
Ushuru midfielder Oscar Mbugua came close to scoring against his former employers in the 62nd minute but he could not hit the target with a lone header inside the six yard box from a Philemon Otieno cross.
In the 72nd minute, Rosevelt Blaty who had come on for Ebrimah Sanneh came close with his first touch of the ball but he skewed his shot wide from inside the area.
City Stars had the best chance of the game in the 89th minute but Manase Orao could not stretch his feet three yards out of goal to poke in a low cross from Robert Ndung’u.