KPL: Posta and Ulinzi remain clean as Zoo earn goal, point.
Unbeaten Posta Rangers rose to the summit of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL), while bottom placed Zoo Kericho registered their first goal and point in the topflight as exciting round six concluded.
A total of 17 goals were scored, another unbeaten side Ulinzi Stars contributing the most by hammering Mathare United 5-1.
Two barren stalemates were recorded with champions Tusker denying Gor Mahia a chance to continue reigning at the top in one of the draws, as Bandari conceded their second defeat to Chemelil FC.
And, with cameras switched off since the exit of SuperSport, alarm has been raised by coaches over poor officiating, attributing it to ‘matches being played in the dark’.
Sharks third fall
The 1-0 win which took Posta to the top was Kariobangi Sharks’ third fall, dropping to 13th despite proving a hard nut to crack for the mailmen.
Posta’s solid defense that has leaked only one goal in six matches is the secret to their early lead, a factor head coach Sammy Omolo underscores.
Prior to the match, Omolo was clear there was no looking back, in their bid to finish at least in the top two by the time the league breaks in June.
“We cannot afford to slow down at this stage. We are not talking about winning the league this early but we will guard our current position at least till half season (then number two), before we resume with a strategy for the rest of the matches,” charged Omolo.
Sharks however fought hard, to contain Posta’s pressure playing one-man less for close to an hour after Pascal Obwoge was red-carded for a deliberate handball in the box.
Tusker tame Gor-
Before the clash, 15-time champions Gor head coach Jose Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira was bullish his charges were better placed to edge the champions who denied them their fourth straight title last season.
But the brewers, who have started the season slowly leaving them 15th after the six outings, managed to tame the star-studded Gor in a clash Ferreira says poor officiating cost them points.
“The referee was not fair at all. Every time our players touched their (Tusker) players, they went down easily and dished cards anyhow. This is football and there is bound to be contact.
“The level of refereeing was pathetic today. There were a lot of substitutions too, some deployed as time wasting tactics which should have been properly compensated,” lamented the Brazilian tactician.
Gor were unlucky to have hit the woodwork twice, and couldn’t capitalize on Tusker’s reduction to 10-men after Hashim Sempala saw red with quarter an hour to go.
Light at Zoo
Finally, promoted Zoo forced a draw against National League Champions (NSL) Nzoia United away in Sudi, confirming coach Sammy Okoth’s sentiments that all was not lost.
Coming from five straight losses, Okoth stated his team was getting better after every match and points would soon trickle in, which indeed came to pass.
“There is light ahead. We have lost some matches because of simple mistakes. Others we were just unlucky.
“We are however stabilizing gradually, and today’s results confirm are making progress,” offered Okoth.
The draw left Nzoia at eighth with six points, while Zoo is four points below second-worst ranked team Mathare United, who have five.
Mathare United assistant coach Salim Ali has termed their heavy defeat by Ulinzi as embarrassing, slamming his defenders for gifting the Soldiers easy goals.
“We defended poorly in the first 15 minutes and were punished for that. The bad start made things very difficult for us; this is a very big loss in the history of Mathare United.
“We tried to get something when it was 3-1 but unfortunately we ended up conceding more. It is a big concern when we concede this way,” told Salim.
Mathare is feeling the pinch of losing key members of last season’s squad, including Harambee Star’s trio Whyvonne Isuza and Robinson Kamura now shining at rivals AFC Leopards, and Eric Johanna who moved to Sweden.
Isuza scored one as AFC Leopards beat Thika United 2-1 away in Thika, helping the Stewart Hall men go second on the table.
In other matches, Sofapaka settled for a 0-0 draw against Kakamega Homeboyz, a result the latter’s coach Mike Mururi termed as ‘a gain considering their opponents resurgence’ that has seen them cling among the top five.
Muhoroni Youth also returned to top 10, sinking Sony Sugar 2-0 at home as promoted Nakumatt FC overcame Henry Omino’s Western Stima by a similar margin to climb to 9th.
KPL LOG AT ROUND SIX
For Citizen TV updates
Join @citizentvke Telegram channel
Video Of The Day: Some MPs plan to shoot down Uhuru\'s proposal on VAT