It’s a photo finish in Golden Boot race


Kakamega Homeboyz FC forward Allan Wanga celebrates scoring against Thika United FC during their Kenyan ...
Kakamega Homeboyz FC forward Allan Wanga celebrates scoring against Thika United FC during their Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match at Thika Municipal stadium on February 04, 2018. Kakamega Homeboyz FC won 1-0. Photo/Kelly Ayodi/Sportpicha/Citizen

In Summary

  • With Kenyan Premier League (KPL) 2018/19 season champion known, straight relegation cases decided and runners up known, Golden Boot race will highlight Wednesday's last round of the campaign.
  • Gor Mahia are the champions, Bandari are the runners up, Mount Kenya and Vihiga United are relegated, but it is unclear who will emerge the top scorer with only a goal separating Allan Wanga (18), Umaru Kasumba and Enosh Ochieng (17).
  • The three have enjoyed banging goals for Kakamega Homeboyz, Sofapaka and Ulinzi Stars respectively this season, and going by their form nothing can be concluded yet.

With Kenyan Premier League (KPL) 2018/19 season champion known, straight relegation cases decided and runners up known, Golden Boot race will highlight Wednesday’s last round of the campaign.

Gor Mahia are the champions, Bandari are the runners up, Mount Kenya and Vihiga United are relegated, but it is unclear who will emerge the top scorer with only a goal separating Allan Wanga (18), Umaru Kasumba and Enosh Ochieng (17).

The three have enjoyed banging goals for Kakamega Homeboyz, Sofapaka and Ulinzi Stars respectively this season, and going by their form nothing can be concluded yet.

Ochieng was not started in the Sunday match against KCB, but would be introduced only after 34 minutes for Justus Unuonga with his coach Benjamin Nyangweso saying he wanted to see his hunger for goals increase from the bench.

“He was in Harambee Stars camp for the better part of the week so I didn’t have him in preparation for the match. I was however not impressed by the striker I started (Unuonga) hence the early change.

“Of course he would love to win the Golden Boot now that he’s so close, and all of us at(Ulinzi)  would love to see it happen here. However we must approach matches soberly without hinging everything on one factor, and I congratulate him because he came on and scored, showing that hunger for goals,” said Nyangweso after their 2-2 stalemate.

Ochieng, who is in Harambee Stars CHAN squad, needed only 10 minutes on the pitch to get his name on the score sheet, and should have added another one in the second stanza coming close just after the restart.

Things were difficult for Wanga on Sunday as Homeboyz fell 3-2 to Zoo Kericho, the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) bound striker failing to increase his tally.

On Wednesday, Ulinzi will close the season against an easy side in Mount Kenya, while Homeboyz will lock horns with Sofapaka, providing an exciting show from Kasumba and Wanga in their bid to seal the boot.

If relegated Mount Kenya’s poor form and lack of ambition is anything to go by, Ochieng can be almost certain of getting at least one.

Sofapaka’s defence has been mean in the recent matches, and denied Bandari in weekend’s clash that ended 0-0, hence will be a real test for Wanga and his teammates in the season-ender.

For Kasumba, whose KPL era could be over if he succeeds in his already set trials in Germany, the gong would be a perfect seal on his local journey.

Umaru Kasumba of Sofapaka FC celebrate his goal during their Kenyan Premier League match against Mathare united FC at Kasarani stadium on February 12, 2019. Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha
Umaru Kasumba of Sofapaka FC celebrate his goal during their Kenyan Premier League match against Mathare united FC at Kasarani stadium on February 12, 2019. Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha/Citizen

Last season it was Kariobangi Sharks’ Eric Kapaito who scored most, but has struggled to replicate the form in the ongoing campaign, enduring a recurring injury.

Playoff scare

Zoo Kericho, Posta Rangers and Chemelil Sugar will have to fight to avoid relegation playoff against third place finishers in the National Super League (NSL).

Zoo and Posta are at 32 points, while Chemelil has 31, meaning either of the teams can finish 15th with a loss, the playoff spot, if two among them win their season-closers.

With Ushuru (currently third) the likely candidate from NSL for the playoff and having played the match twice in a row, the two-leg decider could prove a tricky affair for the topflight club that ends up there.

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Story By Jacob Icia
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