Vihiga host Sharks as promotion race gathers steam


Kariobangi Sharks FC players celebrate Ibrahim Kitawi's goal against FC Talanta during their FKF National ...
Kariobangi Sharks FC players celebrate Ibrahim Kitawi's goal against FC Talanta during their FKF National Super League (NSL) match at the Nyayo National stadium on September 07, 2016. Kariobangi Sharks FC won 2-1. Photo/Maina Wambugu/www.sportpicha.com

Fifth placed Vihiga United will host Kariobangi Sharks on Wednesday at the Mumias Sports Complex in a potentially explosive National Super League (NSL) clash that could shape the race for promotion to the top flight next year.

Vihiga (50) who trail the visitors by three points on the log will be seeking a home victory after drawing with FC Talanta before suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of promotion rivals Zoo Kericho last weekend to revive their push of playing in the Kenyan Premier League in 2017.

On the other hand, Sharks have won their last two games against KCB and Modern Coast after recovering from a lull at the start of the second leg to move up the table to third (53), 14 behind runaway leaders and unbeaten Nzoia United.

Elsewhere, Nakumatt (56) host Nairobi Stima with Nzoia travelling to sixth placed KCB.

Speaking to Citizen Digital, Sharks Team Manager Steve Otieno said the desire of their players to feature in the Kenyan top flight next season had inspired their rich vein of form.

“Vihiga is a difficult team but my boys are determined to play well. Even though they have home advantage and they will be struggling not to embarrass their sponsor, Vihiga Governor Moses Akaranga,” Otieno stated.

“In the first leg, we won despite them playing very well. Some first team players are nursing injuries including our top scorers Boniface Akenga (10 goals) and Mathew Odongo (four).

“Ovella Ochieng and Patillah Omotto join them in the sidelines. Ben Ida, Kevin Ndungu and Vincent Wasambo will replace Omotto, Odongo and Ochieng,” he added.

Vihiga are in desperate demand for maximum points following their recent disappointing outcomes according to their Team Manager Arthur Ominde.

“I acknowledge our last two games were tough for us considering Zoo is a top team too and Talanta are fighting to get out of the relegation zone. I am not underrating any team but I hope we will come out as victors.

“Our captain George Oduor is still nursing an injury; Ben Ochieng will also be out of the squad due to studies in addition to Michael Isabwa who has a knee injury. Christopher Masinza will replace Isabwa while Desnnis Nandwa will take Ochieng’s position,” he added.

In other mid week fixtures, Agro Chemicals in ninth host Palos FC who are a place behind them.

Bottom placed Shabana will host 14th place Oserian as Ligi Ndogo and St. Joseph FC visit Bidco United and Modern Coast Rangers respectively fighting to avoid being axed.

-Report by Richard Obaga

MIDWEEK FIXTURES

13:00 KCB vs Nzoia United

15:00 Vihiga United vs Kariobangi Sharks

15:00 Agro Chemicals vs Palos FC

15:00 Shabana vs Oserian

15:00 Wazito FC vs Zoo Kericho

15:00 Nakumatt vs Nairobi Stima

15:00 Bidco United vs Ligi Ndogo

15:00 Police FC vs FC Talanta

16:00 Moyas FC vs Nakuru AllStars

16:00 Modern Coast Rangers vs St Joseph FC

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