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Okoth, Muyoti breathing fire ahead of ‘relegation’clash

By For Citizen Digital

Zoo Kericho FC players on bench prays during their SportPesa Premier League match against Thika ...
Zoo Kericho FC players on bench prays during their SportPesa Premier League match against Thika United FC at Thika sub county stadium in Thika on April 09, 2017. Thika United FC won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

A scintillating scuffle is looming at the Kericho Green Stadium when relegation threatened Zoo Kericho host Thika United, another susceptible club to demotion from the Kenyan Premier league (KPL) on Wednesday.

A win for Zoo will seal their KPL spot for the 2018 season as it will take their points tally to 40, while Thika (35) will have to wait for the season final round to confirm their fate,the result in Kericho notwithstanding.

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Interestingly, both clubs’ coaches have vowed to collect maximum points in the only league fixture on Wednesday.Winning this match will make the task easier  ahead of the final round of fixtures.

In an interview with Citizen Digital, Zoo’s Sammy Okoth declared Wednesday match “the most important for him this season”.

“We have every reason to win this match. It is very significant to us because it presents an opportunity to secure our place in KPL so that we go to the last fixture of the season without any pressure.

“It will also be our last match at home in our maiden season in the topflight. We have to give back to our fans who have been very supportive throughout the season, and the best way is by beating Thika,” Okoth charged.

The coach however acknowledged it will not be a walk in the park, reflecting on Thika’s recent form.

“I respect Thika .They have quality players who have shown intense desire to remain in the league despite enduring a difficult period at the early stages of the season.

“In the past two matches they have won against strong sides (Tusker FC and Sony Sugar) so they are opponents worthy of respect. We are however happy KPL Limited allowed the match to be played at our home ground because we missed that advantage in the 1-1 draw against Gor. It should be a plus to us in the match,” added Okoth.

Thika United players led by scorer Onwudi Chibueze celebrate their goal during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka sports ground in Nairobi on November 01, 2017. Photo/Sportpicha.
Thika United players led by scorer Onwudi Chibueze celebrate their goal during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Ruaraka sports ground in Nairobi on November 01, 2017. Photo/Sportpicha.

No room for mistake

Knowing his charges need to collect at least four points to be mathematically secure beyond the goal-difference calculation, Thika’s Nicholas Muyoti has warned there will be no room for complacency in this  encounter.

“I will be going for three points. For us the season ends over the weekend and how we step into that weekend will be determined by the result against Zoo.

Thika United players seek divine intervention before kick off in a past match.The milkmen face Leopards on Wednesday.Image/SportPicha
Thika United players seek divine intervention before kick off in a past match.The milkmen face Leopards on Wednesday.Image/SportPicha

“We have to be very careful because the second team to be relegated could be determined on goal-difference. The way Western Stima and Mathare United are playing, anything is possible,” Muyoti offered.

Stima and Mathare, the other two clubs in the demotion cage, will be watching keenly how the battle unfolds as they wait for their Saturday fixtures against Chemelil and Posta Rangers respectively.

Elsewhere, Sony Sugar warmed up for their season finale against champions Gor Mahia with a 5-1 easy victory over relegated Muhoroni Youth, in the only Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match played on Tuesday.

George Abege grabbed a brace as David Simiyu, Victor Ademba nad Benjamin Mosha struck once each in the thriller staged at the Awendo Green Stadium, Mumias.

Following the win, the millers leapt to 10th on the log relegating AFC Leopards a place below albeit on goal-difference.

Muhoroni Youth FC players pose for a photo moments before their KPL Under 20 Championships against Thika United FC at Camp Toyoyo Stadium in Nairobi Kenya on April 19, 2016. Muhoroni Youth FC Photo/Oliver Ananda/www.sportpicha.com
Muhoroni Youth FC players pose for a photo moments before their KPL Under 20 Championships against Thika United FC at Camp Toyoyo Stadium in Nairobi Kenya on April 19, 2016. Muhoroni Youth FC Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha

The score also stretched Muhoroni’s awful goal-difference to -35, having scored only 26 while soaking in 61 goals. Their season tally is now 25, from 33 outings.

The Awasi based side will cap the season against 12-time champions and reigning GOTV Shield winners AFC Leopards.

The league continues on Wednesday, with Zoo Kericho hosting Thika United at the Kericho Green Stadium.

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