Mwalala decries external interference in weekend loss as Leopards limp


Nzoia sugar FC players celebrate scoring against Gor Mahia FC during their GOtv Shield tournament ...
Nzoia sugar FC players celebrate scoring against Gor Mahia FC during their GOtv Shield tournament match at Mumias Sports Complex on August 28, 2016. Nzoia United FC won 1-0. Photo Oliver Ananda/www.Sportpicha.com

Nzoia Sugar head coach Bernard Mwalala has congratulated his players despite their second straight loss in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) 2017 season, in the fourth round that saw AFC Leopards taste maiden defeat.

Kariobangi Sharks avoided defeat for the first time in the season earing three points away to Nzoia in Sudi Stadium, as Zoo Kericho continued their uninterrupted losing streak in the hands of Thika United.

At the end of the weekend action that saw a total of 14 goals scored across the nine matches, 15-time champions Gor Mahia topped the table with nine points with Zoo lying bottom at Zero.

Only Posta Rangers and Ulinzi Stars are unbeaten so far, the latter having featured a match less.

-Nzoia undeterred-

Mwalala has insisted his charges are giving their best accusing ‘external forces’ for their Sharks and Leopards losses consecutively.

“I am not disappointed with the boy’s performance in the last two games because they fought hard in both games.

“The problem in the team at the moment is not the technical bench or the players. There are some external forces that are interfering with us.

“I wouldn’t want to dwell much on that but I want to inform our fans we are doing our best within our capability despite the challenges we face from outside forces,” charged the former Harambee Stars striker.

However, Mwalala could not specify the dark forces behind their troubles, also pointing out an element of hard luck.

“We dominated the match against Leopards and missed several chances to kill the game in the first half. It was no different against Sharks, definitely the best side lost.

“We are however not demoralized, the fight continues” he underscored.

Nzoia, who mauled holders Tusker FC 5-2 in their league opener, are now 12th on the log.

-Tired Leopards –

Leopard’s assistant coach Dennis Kitambi has pointed out injures and congested fixtures led to their first defeat, of two answered goals against Chemelil Sugar.

“Against Chemelil we were very tired; remember we were playing our third match in eight days. This was to come, because the league kicked off late.

“We also had three unfit players in the team, while we missed injured Paul Kiongera and Joshua Mawira. It is good even fans are now appreciating the role of Kiongera because in the two matches he has been out our attack has been quite blunt,” Kitambi offered.

Kitambi has however said focus has shifted to the next match against Muhoroni Youth, calling for calm among upset fans after the loss.

“We are eying a win against our next opponents; we can’t afford to concentrate on what happened on Sunday. When you win, you have to avoid unnecessary excitement and in the event of a fall you quickly rise up and move forward,” he noted.

In Zoo’s camp, head coach Sammy Okoth is confident his charges will rise up and erase the bad start which has seen them lose all matches.

“Yes we lost, but we are getting better after every match. Looking at the progress I can tell we have better days ahead.

“You cannot rule us out as early as now. The season is not bad; we are just in a bad phase which will soon pass. My major concern is how we attack because had we utilized our chances we create in the last two matches, we would be talking of something different,” Okoth remarked.

The newly promoted side lost to Thika United by a solitary goal, which pushed the James Nandwa coached men to mid-table.

Gor’s slim win against Kakamega Homeboyz (1-0) shot them to the summit again; head coach Jose Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira saying the win was good to calm their ‘hilarious fans’.

Their closest challengers Rangers (at eight points just one adrift Gor) under the tutelage of Sammy Omollo are keen to consolidate their impressive form attributed to ‘fighting spirit’.

Omollo noted his players have learnt to concentrate for 90 minutes, singling out Geoffrey Kataka who scored their lone goal in the win over Western Stima as brilliant player whose moment of brilliance earned them three points.

Stima’s Henry Omino has slammed his players for excitement after their previous win over respected Gor, saying it carried them away in the clash against Posta.

The Powermen now are 17 th on the log, after three matches with three points.

Other results saw Sofapaka FC, (drew 2-2 with Tusker), climb to fifth as the champions struggle at 14 th while Bandari FC drifted from top to third after sinking 2-1 against seventh placed Ulinzi.

 

KPL LOG AFTER ROUND FOUR MATCHES

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD PTS
1 Gor Mahia 4 3 0 1 6 3 3 9
2 Posta Rangers 4 2 2 0 3 1 2 8
3 Bandari 4 2 1 1 5 2 3 7
4 Chemelil Sugar 4 2 1 1 5 2 3 7
5 Sofapaka 4 2 1 1 7 5 2 7
6 AFC Leopards 4 2 1 1 5 3 2 7
7 Ulinzi Stars 3 2 1 0 3 1 2 7
8 SoNy Sugar 4 2 1 1 2 2 0 7
9 Thika United 4 2 0 2 5 4 1 6
10 Kakamega Homeboyz 4 1 2 1 4 3 1 5
11 Mathare United 4 1 2 1 4 4 0 5
12 Nzoia Sugar FC 4 1 1 2 6 6 0 4
13 Nakumatt 4 1 1 2 2 4 -2 4
14 Tusker FC 4 1 1 2 5 9 -4 4
15 Muhoroni Youth FC 4 1 1 2 1 5 -4 4
16 Kariobangi Sharks 4 1 0 3 3 5 -2 3
17 Western Stima 3 1 0 2 3 5 -2 3
18 Zoo FC 4 0 0 4 0 5 -5 0

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