So­faka count bless­ings af­ter es­cap­ing the axe

2009 win­ners sur­vive the drop on a dra­matic last day as Ushuru exit top flight

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

Eight years and count­ing in the top flight league it is for 2009 cham­pi­ons So­fa­paka af­ter they claimed an au­da­cious exit from the rel­e­ga­tion zone on a dra­matic last day of the Sport­pesa Premier League.

De­spite trail­ing 1-0 to Thika United early in the match, So­fa­paka showed the will and de­sire to keep their elite foot­ball league sta­tus as they went on to win 5-1 and cou­pled with Ushuru’s 3-1 de­feat at the hands of Posta Rangers, Ba­toto Ba Mungu sur­vived as Ushuru were shown the door.

“We are very de­lighted to have re­mained in the Premier League. Every­body worked hard for the course and we hope to do even bet­ter next year,” said Noah Abich, the chief ar­chi­tect of Ba­toto Ba Mungu’s sur­vival and now along­side Ulinzi Stars and league top scorer John Mak­wata, they are prime can­di­date for Foot­baller of the Year in a sea­son where no stand­out per­former in the top three has come out tops.

All that could go right went right for So­fa­paka in Machakos as Thika were re­duced to just nine men by the 70th minute by which time they were trail­ing So­fa­paka by three goals.

Cap­tain Den­nis Od­hi­ambo and mid­fielder Baraka Badi re­ceived red cards mid­way through the sec­ond half. Nige­rian striker On­wudi Chibueze scored Thika’s lone goal while So­fa­paka’s goal glut came via vet­er­ans Moses Od­hi­ambo , Noah Abich, Ezekiel Okare’s two strikes and an own goal from Thika’s Vin­cent Nyaberi.

Cham­pi­ons Tusker crowned a suc­cess­ful sea­son with a 1-0 vic­tory over de­posed hold­ers Gor Mahia with in­form striker Al­lan Wanga net­ting the all im­por­tant goal

The bat­tle for third po­si­tion was won by Ulinzi Stars, who ruth­lessly crushed Ban­dari 4-2 at their Afraha Sta­dium grounds.

Posta Rangers, ar­chi­tects of Ushuru’s drop from the top flight, set­tled for an in­spir­ing fourth place fin­ish while Chemelil Sugar wound up fifth af­ter draw­ing 1-1 with Mathare United at the Chemelil Sports Com­plex. Sixth place went to West­ern Stima, who drew 0-0 with Kakamega neigh­bours Home­boyz. With noth­ing to play for, Nairobi City Stars folded 2-1 against Sony Sugar, a re­sult that saw the sugar millers fin­ish in ninth place.


Gor Mahia’s Erick Ouma con­trols the ball un­der chal­lenge from Tusker’s Martin Ki­iza (L) and Os­borne Mon­day.

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