Voice of Sport

Finish may go to the wire but ‘board room’ decisions threaten fair play

Frustrated Gor fans again pour more ugliness to a beleaguered 2014 Kenyan Premier League season – crowd trouble breaks out at Kenyatta Stadium


2014 Kenyan Premier League:

How their fates will be decided:

  1. Gor Mahia (54 points):

(Remaining fixtures)

– Muhoroni Youth v Gor Mahia (Nov 1)

– KRA v Gor Mahia (Nov 8)

2. Sofapaka (53 points):

(Remaining fixtures)

– AFC Leopards v Sofapaka (Nov 1)

– Tusker v Sofapaka (Nov 8)

3.Tusker (51points):

(Remaining fixtures)

Tusker v Thika United (Nov 1)

Tusker v Sofapaka (Nov 8)

GOR Mahia were beaten 3-2 by Sofapaka in an ugly match marred by crowd trouble at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on Sunday, denying the Kenyan Premier League leaders the chance to virtually wrap-up a back-to-back championship.

The title holders, on 54 points, will now have to fight tooth-and-nail to pick up all points in their remaining pair of fixtures – one of them a potentially difficult one away to Muhoroni Youth – in order to keep at bay second-placed Sofapaka who are breathing down K’Ogalo’s neck, just a point adrift, after the crucial triumph at Machakos.

Remainder

Third-placed Tusker (51) could also nick kit but that will dependon a Gor Mahia and  Sofapaka debacle in the remaining short spurt.

Tusker, however, have a bit of the destiny in their own hands because they can stop Sofapaka on the final day, November 8,  after beating Thika United on November 1 and hoping that Gor Mahia stumble against Muhoroni Youth and then on the closing day against Kenya Revenue Authority [KRA, recently rebranded as Ushuru].

The Premiership, as usual looks bound to be decided on the very last day but an unprecedented cloud hangs over the finish this time following some controversial matches.

Dispute

AFC Leopards, sixth on 38 points, have a pending dispute with Sony Sugar over a match unplayed since August 6.

Another match, abandoned in the 74th minute, was decided in the board room, Tusker receiving a 2-0 margin win against Muhoroni Youth who refused to play on on October 19 because Tusker had 12 men on the pitch while leading 2-1.

Doomed

First time entrants Nakuru All Stars bid farewell to the Premiership their 0-2 defeat at the hands o Western Stima on Saturday. All Stars were relegated with two matches to go, a rare happening in the KPL where the doomed teams are known on the final day.

Now the team to join All Stars in the drop looks most likely to be long time strugglers Nairobi City Star [20 points]. City can only escape if the beat both All Stars and Mathare United; possible and in the event KCB [25 points] lose to both Sony Sugar and All Stars.

Sofapaka 3-2 Gor Mahia

Eugene Asike redirected a throw in to and unprepared Sofapaka goalie David Okello for an own goal that gave Gor Mahia an early lead.

But Sofapaka fought back to level in the 19th minute when ex-Kenya utility John Njoroge sent a long cross which Abdul Fiston chested before unleashing a low scoring shot.

Lead

It was 1-1 at the break then Fiston gave Sofapaka the lead in the 53rd minute.

In the 73rd minute Anthony Ndolo connected an Enoch Agwanda cross before chipping past Gor ‘keeper Jerim Onyango to make it 3-1.

At a Kenyatta Stadium packed to the rafters by mostly Gor Mahia’s supporters, the huge lead threw hopelessness among the “Green Army”, their frustration showing with unruly behaviour by some who threw objects to Sofapaka players celebrating their goal.

Gather

Police intervened with tear gas forcing temporary stoppage of the match. Chaos from the stands again erupted after a brief lull forcing referee Nasur Doka to stop the match as players gathered at the center of the pitch. After brief “peace talks” play could resume to the end of the game.

In the 82nd minute, Danny Sserunkuma’s effort was denied by the post but Geoffrey Kizito was at the right place to tap into an empty net. The goal resulted in more drama as a fan hit Sofapaka keeper following a confrontation between him and Gor Mahia players. Pitch stewards intervened and the fan was quickly whisked away.

Bandari 1-1 KCB

Relegation-threatened KCB picked up a crucial one point away to Bandari at the Kenya Ports Authority [KPA] Sports in Mbaraki, Mombasa.

Bandari took the lead barely 10 minutes into the match through Bruno Sserunkuma, before the bankers levelled in the second half through a John Macharia taken penalty.

Chemelil Sugar 0-1 AFC Leopards

AFC Leopards edged out Chemelil Sugar behind closed doors at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu.

Michael Khamati, who came in as a second half substitute for Austin Ikenna, had the solitary goal of the game in the 89th minute.

Mathare United 1-1 Sony Sugar

Mathare United and visiting Sony Sugar cancelled each other out in a thrilling encounter at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos, preceding the Sofapaka v Gor Mahia match.

Edwin Ombasa opened the scores for Mathare early in the game after receiving a neat pass from Noah Abich to slot the ball beneath the arms of Sony goalkeeper Lucas Indeche.

But Sony’s Marwa Chamberi equalised from the penalty spot.

Tusker Premier League | LOGS

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Gor Mahia 28 15 9 4 37 20 17 54
2 Sofapaka 28 15 8 5 45 24 21 53
3 Tusker 28 14 9 5 38 21 17 51
4 Ulinzi Stars 28 11 14 3 32 20 12 47
5 Chemelil Sugar 28 11 11 6 22 16 6 44
6 AFC Leopards 27 9 11 7 26 19 7 38
7 Sony Sugar 27 8 13 6 25 20 5 37
8 Thika United 28 9 10 9 29 29 0 37
9 Muhoroni Youth 28 9 10 9 20 25 -5 37
10 Western Stima 28 9 9 10 26 29 -3 36
11 Mathare United 28 9 7 12 17 25 -8 34
12 KRA 28 10 3 15 22 35 -13 33
13 Bandari 28 5 14 9 21 26 -5 29
14 KCB 28 6 7 15 27 37 -10 25
15 Nairobi City Stars 28 3 11 14 17 35 -18 20
16 Nakuru All Stars 28 3 8 17 11 34 -23 17