NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 13 – Gor Mahia’s closest opponents on the Kenyan Premier League log Bandari have more or less given up on what seems to be an impossible chase, catching up with the runaway leaders with the season now taking the home stretch.
Gor’s 3-1 win over Kakamega Homeboyz on Monday afternoon in Kisumu widened their gap to 14 points and with just three wins, Dylan Kerr’s men will be crowned champions of the Kenyan top tier for the 17th tie in their history.
Bandari boss Bernard Mwalala has said it would be practically impossible to catch up with Gor and they will be shifting their attention to maintaining a second or third spot finish.
“At this moment, Gor Mahia are 90pc champions because they have created a huge gap between us and them. For us now, the focus is on ensuring we finish in a good position, at least third spot,” the tactician, formerly with Nzoia Sugar said.
Mwalala has brought a new lease of life at bandari with the Mombasa based club turning the tide and have won their last four matches on the trot, including breaking Gor Mahia’s unbeaten run to push to second spot.
Mwalala, who is unbeaten since joining Bandari, says he is pleased at how the team has adapted quickly to his methods and is already looking at making the team a force to reckon with in the Kenyan Premier League.
“When I took charge, I came in with some new ideas and I am impress with how quickly the players grasped and adapted to them. They have taken the changes positively and the results speak for themselves,” the tactician offered.
-Tusker slowed, but undeterred
From their weekend 1-0 win over Tusker FC, Bandari retained their hold on second spot, three ahead of AFC Leopards who registered a 4-2 win over Nakumatt FC in Machakos.
The 4-2 victory was a third consecutive for Ingwe as they look to press for a top two finish.
Meanwhile, Tusker’s rise was stemmed after the loss to Bandari which saw them drop a spot to seventh from sixth. Despite the loss which head coach Robert Matano attributed to poor officiating, the tactician believes they will finish the season stronger.
“The team was in a bad position when I came in here but now, we have managed to steady the ship and things are looking good. I am happy with how we are playing and if we continue like this I am certain we will finish the season in a good position,” Matano offered.
Meanwhile, Mathare United put to bed a run of eight winless matches with a hard earned 2-1 win over Kariobangi Sharks in the Slum Derby, a result that saw them move to sixth and get their plans of finishing in the top three on track.
-Mathare back on track
Mathare United head coach Francis Kimanzi watches from the touchline during a past Kenyan Premier League match. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaMathare are seven points off the top three but head coach Francis Kimanzi believes with the new found rhythm, they can put their season back on track after struggling in the second leg.
Elsewhere, Sofapaka’s hope of giving Gor a chase to the last day of the season were hugely punctured when they suffered a 1-0 loss at the hands of relegation fighting Vihiga United in Narok.
While the result was crushing to Sofapaka’s ambition, it was a huge boost for Vihiga who moved three points clear of the relegation zone, but still sit at the precarious play-off slot.
But, it seems it will be a huge fight to get off that slot as 15th placed Chemelil are a point above them and have two matches at hand.
The battle for automatic relegation also got intense with Wazito FC beating Thika United 3-1 at their backyard to keep their survival hopes alive.