Vihiga caught between a rock and hard place in promotion quest


Vihiga United FC players reacts during their National Super League (NSL) match against FC Talanta ...
(FILE)Vihiga United FC players reacts during their National Super League (NSL) match against FC Talanta at Camp Toyoyo stadium in Nairobi on October 15, 2017. Vihiga United FC won 1-0. Photo/Sportpicha

The race for promotion to the Kenya Premier League (KPL) is becoming tighter for Vihiga United who has, for long, been at the summit of the National Super League but now faces the battle of a lifetime to guarantee a berth to the top-tier.

On Friday, Vihiga United lost 2-1 to Sony Sugar in the GOtv-Shield  play off to settle for a fourth place  finish in the knockout tournament , but will now  quickly forget the disappoint, and aim all their guns in earning promotion to the top division.

However, what had seemed a sure bet at one stage is now hanging precariously.

On third place with 65 points from 31 matches, Vihiga are two points behind second placed KCB and four points adrift of leaders Ushuru, with five rounds of matches left.

But with1 5 points still to fight out for, the die is cast and Vihiga can’t just give up yet.

Finishing third would put them in an intricate position as they would have to face a play-off with 16th place finishers in the KPL, and therefore, earning the top two slots would be the safer option.

Vihiga, as such, will leave no room for error when they come face- to- face with Nairobi City Stars on Tuesday afternoon at the Mumias Complex.

Vihiga United FC coach Edward Manoah instructs his charges against FC Talanta during their National Super League (NSL) match at Camp Toyoyo stadium in Nairobi on October 15, 2017. Vihiga United FC won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Vihiga United FC coach Edward Manoah instructs his charges against FC Talanta during their National Super League (NSL) match at Camp Toyoyo stadium in Nairobi on October 15, 2017. Vihiga United FC won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

In their last league match, the Edward Manoah coached boys beat Talanta 1-0 which kept them at position three on the log with 65 points.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, assistant coach Francis Xavier said, “We’re telling our fans to be patient and to remain optimistic that our team will be in the KPL next year.”

Should Vihiga earn promotion to the KPL, it will be their debut appearance in the top division. It will also increase the number of teams from the western region in the elite competition.

Already AFC Leopards and Kakamega Homeboyz, all from the region, are in the top-tier, with the latter causing ripples.

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