Tusker party on ahead of last tie
Attention turns to relegation dogfight as Brewers seal SPL title
The league table never lies and Tusker are deservedly the new champions of the SportPesa Premier League after getting the measure of three-time back-to- back winners Gor Mahia to clinch top spot with a match to spare.
The brewers have been the most consistent side in the division this year, barely leaving the top three slots since the campaign began. Sunday’s 1-0 winover AFC Leopards brought them their 11th crown with Ugandan Paul Nkata becoming the first foreign coach to lead the brewers to the title.
Looking back, it was the victory over Gor Mahia in the final weeks of the first leg courtesy of Humphrey Mieno’s disputed penalty that ultimately proved to be the difference between this two genuine latter day giants of Kenyan football.
The subsequent docking of three points from Gor due to the crowd trouble that ensued served to further hand Tusker an initiative that they never relinquished until they took the top flight title back to Ruaraka.
Nkata thanked his boys for putting up a brave fight, saying he was delighted to have won two titles this season.
“We had to fight very hard especially in the first half. AFC were brave in the first half and it was difficult to play our game,” said Nkata.
“My players were, however, patient and it paid off in the end. I didn’t expect to have it easy and I am quite happy that we have achieved our ambitions even though we had to fight to the very end,” he said after their win.
With the championship fight already settled, all eyes now turn to the relegation battle when the league resumes in less than two weeks from the international break.
It might be a case of too little too late for former champs Sofapaka in their quest to beat the drop as they are three points away from the safety position currently occupied by free falling Ushuru. Sofapaka need victory in their last match against Thika United and hope that the tax men are beaten by Posta Rangers.
Tusker FC pose for a group photo with the EABL KBL managing director, Jane Karuku (seated third right) and head of corporate affairs Eric Kiniti (2nd L) after a luncheon to celebrate their victory.