NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 22- The fight for survival in the 2017 Kenyan Premier League season promises to go down to the wire even with the league managers and the Football Kenya Federation yet to spell out a comprehensive relegation and promotion criteria.
Western Stima did themselves a favor on Sunday when they beat Sofapaka 3-1 at the Narok Stadium while Mathare United and Thika United cancelled each other out in a 1-1 result at the Thika Sub-County Stadium.
Muhoroni Youth already appear to have their fate sealed, falling seven points off safety after suffering a blanking 3-0 loss at home to Kakamega Homeboyz.
At the moment, falling into the bottom two seems to be a sure ticket to relegation while occupying the 16th slot gives one a half-life. After Sunday’s matches, Thika United dropped to 17th slot while Stima rose all the way to 16th.
KPL’s relegation script reads that two teams will be automatically chopped off while FKF’s insist on a play off between 16th in the league and third from the National Super League.
With four games remaining before the end of the season, everyone will be fighting to avoid those bottom two slots.
“It was unfortunate that we got off with only one point today but I think my boys played well. We have four finals ahead of us and we will give everything to fight and remain in the league. I am confident my boys will deliver,” Thika United head coach Nicholas Muyoti said.
Thika came from a goal down, Eugene Mukangula drawing them level four minutes after Cliff Nyakeya had given Mathare the lead.
Nyakeya slotted in low past Thika keeper Allan Owing in the 16th minute after picking up a sleek through pass from Chrispin Oduor. Four minutes later, Mukangula drew Thika level with a rasping low shot from the edge of the area.
Mwinyi Kibwana should have given Thika a win at the death after playing a swift one-two interchange of passes with Benson Iregi but Mathare keeper Levis Opiyo ensured Mathare left with at least a point making a fine block at his near post.