Zoo cage Thika, zoom to safety


Nicholas Kipkurui of Zoo Kericho FC celebrates with fans after scoring against Wazito FC during ...
Nicholas Kipkurui of Zoo Kericho FC celebrates with fans after scoring against Wazito FC during their National Super League (NSL) match at the Camp Toyoyo grounds on October 12, 2016. The match ended 2-2. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Kenyan Premier League newbies Zoo Kericho have parachuted out of the relegation zone after putting up a scintillating performance to down Thika United 2-1 at Green Stadium in Kericho on Wednesday, ending Thika United’s seven unbeaten run, while also safeguarding their top-tier status.

The win sealed Zoo’s KPL spot for next season after taking their points tally to 40, while Thika remain unsafe at position 16 on 35 points.

This essentially means that the die is cast for the Nicholas Muyoti coached Thika ahead of the penultimate date on Saturday when the curtains come down on the 2017 season.

The milk men will be facing Bandari at the Thika Stadium in Thika, Kiambu County, and will have to sharpen their swords and cross their fingers that the other results go their way to guarantee survival.

With Western Stima and Mathare United– the two other clubs in the relegation battle having watched this scuffle closely ahead of their Saturday fixtures against Chemelil and Posta Rangers respectively– the relegation dog fight gets more tantalizing for fans but edgy for the teams involved as they crackup nerves to know who will join Muhoroni Youth in going under.

Zoo Kericho FC chairman and coach Ken Ochieng instructs his charges during their National Super League (NSL) match against Wazito FC at the Camp Toyoyo grounds on October 12, 2016. Ochieng on Tuesday said that he will be heading to court to seek redress over their expulsion from the league. Photo/sportpicha.
Zoo Kericho FC chairman and coach Ken Ochieng instructs his charges during their National Super League (NSL) match against Wazito FC at the Camp Toyoyo grounds on October 12, 2016. Ochieng on Tuesday said that he will be heading to court to seek redress over their expulsion from the league. Photo/sportpicha.

A 16th placed finisher isn’t save either if plans mooted earlier by the federation will suffice .Such team should face off with third place finishers in the National Super League with the winner earning a place in the top division.

Mathare(15th) has 38 points while Thika(16th) and Stima(17th) tie on 35 points, with a slender goal difference separating them.

At the Green Stadium, Zoo opened the scoring in the 14 minute through Nicholas Kipkirui who easily tapped in a cross from Nicholas Madoya.

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

Thika saw their chance of restoring parity wasted in the 35th minute when Shami Kibwana lifted the ball wide over onrushing Zoo’s goalkeeper Vincent Misikhu.

Dominic Ouma added the second in the 37 minute after tapping in unmarked– a cross from Madoya to give Zoo control of the game ahead of halftime.

However, after the interval, Thika pulled one back in the 58 minute through Shami Kibwana but it was too little too late.

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Story By John Mbati
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