Tusker party on ahead of last tie

At­ten­tion turns to rel­e­ga­tion dog­fight as Brew­ers seal SPL ti­tle

The Star (Kenya) - - Sports Local - FRAN­CIS WADEGU @fwadegu198

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.

/COUR­TESY

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.

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