Tusker on course
Pressure on Ze Maria as Gor Mahia tackle Western Stima tomorrow
The 2016 SportPesa Premier League title is surely now Tusker’s to lose after the league leaders grabbed an important three points from a tricky away fixture against Bandari to open up a seven-point gap at the top albeit having played a game more than their sole rivals Gor Mahia.
Stephen Owusu’s late header not only gave Paul Nkata’s men a narrow 1-0 victory but also boosted their psychological advantage heading towards the crystal stage of the championship marathon.
After 26 matches, Tusker have 51 points while Gor, who face Western Stima tomorrow have 44 from 25 matches. Gor will be down in terms of morale having already relinquished two of the trophies they won last year; the season opening DStv Super Cup and the KPL Top 8 title that they conceded to Muhoroni Youth on Sunday.
The pressure is surely on for coach Ze Maria, who has never really been a darling of the crowds and the manner in which their followers descended onto the pitch running at the players goes a long away to show the simmering frustration in the stands is finally boiling over.
After the Stima match, Gor will have to contend with a tough tie against arch-rivals AFC Leopards this weekend. Leopards, who put paid to fifth placed Ulinzi Stars title ambitions, will be more keen to end any aspirations their arch rivals have of winning an unprecedented fourth successive top flight title.
Chemelil Sugar remain with an outside chance of claiming the title after Jared Obwoge scored a brace to ensure they maintained their third position on the table.
Obwoge opened his account in the 14th minute after making the most of poor organisation from the Ushuru defence and he finished off with another brilliant goal seven minutes later.
The tax men pulled a goal back in the 71st minute through ever improving Ebrimma Sanneh, who rose high to head the ball past Chemelil goalkeeper Samuel Odhiambo. Chemelil have 43 points.
At the other end of the table, the over ten-year existence of Nairobi City Stars in the Premier League may soon come to an end after they succumbed to their 15th loss of the season, a disheartening result for a team that has fought against relegation throughout the season.
John Amboko was the villain of the match for City as he handled the ball inside the box, prompting the referee to award Thika the penalty which was duly converted by captain Dennis Odhambo minutes to the end.
Basement club Sofapka are also heading out of the top division following their 1-0 loss to Sony Sugar.
Ushuru captain Nelson Marachowe tackles Chemelil ‘s Victor Majid during their SPL match. / ENOS TECHE