History in the offing: Can Tusker and Makwatta replicate the 2016 heroics?


Tusker FC coach Robert Matano join players in celebration after scoring against Sony Sugar FC ...
Tusker FC coach Robert Matano join players in celebration after scoring against Sony Sugar FC during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match at the Ruaraka sports ground in Nairobi on April 29, 2018. Tusker FC won 3-2. Photo/Kelly Ayodi/Sportpicha.com

In Summary

  • With history repeating itself so many times, are we about to witness a repeat of what transpired in the 2016 Kenyan Premier League season?
  • In that term, the Brewers won a season double – the Shield and the league – with Makwatta being crowned the league’s top scorer with 15 goals while turning out for Ulinzi Stars.
  • Fast forward to 2020, Tusker are leading the league  yet again after 17 rounds with 37 points, one ahead of closest challengers Kakamega Homeboyz.

With history repeating itself so many times, are we about to witness a repeat of what transpired in the 2016 Kenyan Premier League season?

In that term, the Brewers won a season double – the Shield and the league – with Makwatta being crowned the league’s top scorer with 15 goals while turning out for Ulinzi Stars.

Fast forward to 2020, Tusker are leading the league  yet again after 17 rounds with 37 points, one ahead of closest challengers Kakamega Homeboyz.

The only difference this time around is that Makwatta is donning a different jersey.

He is the main man at AFC Leopards where his 12 goals have kept Ingwe in the top 10 occupying position seven after 17 matches.

When he bagged the coveted Golden Boot award in 2016, he was a Kenya Defence Force officer, turning out for military side Ulinzi Stars, but he quit the trade to join club Buildcon FC in Zambian Premier League in 2017 before returning home to pen a deal with Ingwe.

And, it seems, the man still has got the knack of tormenting defenders and goalkeepers alike if his goal record this term is to be used as a barometer.

Ulinzi Stars FC striker John Makwatta displays his Golden boot award during Kenyan Premier League awards ceremony in Nairobi on December 13, 2016. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

And speaking of his heroics, the soft-spoken man said he hopes to make a name for himself in the KPL this season.

“Yes, I am in good form and I want to keep scoring goals, it’s not just about me but the team finishing in good position too,” Makwata said.

On the other hand, Tusker who last bagged the gong in 2016, standing in the way of Gor Mahia’s march to three successive titles is threatening to topple Gor Mahia from the top again!

Gor has of course monopolized the league and there has never been a better answer to them than the brewers.

In 2012, under the fiery Robert Matano, they denied Gor what would have been their first title in 18years when they piped Nairobi City Stars 3-0 at Kawangware to claim the gong on the final day of action as helpless K’Ogalo managed just a 1-1 draw with battling Thika United at the Nairobi City Stadium.

 

Back then, Gor was under the guidance of Croat coach Zdravko Logarusic.

Then, in 2016, Matano was again the ‘answer’, masterminding a season double over Gor as they went on the claim the gong, leaving K’Ogalo gasping for breath at position two.

The brewers boast of good players and a coach to boot at their disposal. In Matano, they have a tactician who has experience and who understands the dynamics of the league.

Their last road trip win against Bandari gave a picture of a team ready for the long run.

Apart from that, adding Brian Marita (the match winner against Bandari ) and the likes of Chris Ochieng gives them the edge over opponents in as far as squad depth is concerned.

Coming back to Makwata, his goals have been a breath of fresh air in a struggling “Ingwe” side.

He is bringing back the smiles on the faces of club fans despite their financial woes and it’s just a matter of time before he moves should the problems persist.

The league has been having struggles of its own and there is no reason why the player can’t bag more than 20 goals this season if the likes of Chemelil and Nzoia are still in contention.

In fact he’s three goals clear ahead of closest challenger Timothy Otieno of Tusker having nine goals under his belt, while KCB’s Enock Agwanda and Ulinzi Stars Enos Ochieng follow with eight and seven goals in that order.

Others are Peter Thiongo(Kakamega Homeboyz),  Oscar Wamalwa(Ulinzi Stars), Benson Ochieng(Western Stima) and Sofapaka’s Elli Asieche who all have seven goals.

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