As the Kenyan Premier League entered its eight week , Sports Africa looks at five key talking points from weekend action.
Hooliganism rears its face, again
Hooliganism reared its face in Kenyan football once more, barely three weeks after another incident was witnessed at the same venue, Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
On Sunday, a section of Gor Mahia fans hurled water bottles and stones onto the pitch in protest of a throw-in awarded to their opponents – Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) – a minute before referee Raymond Onyango blew the final whistle.
This caused over 26 minutes delay in stoppage as anti-riot police quelled the displeasure by unleashing teargas canisters to disperse the agitated crowd.
The game resumed for five minutes but the Bankers held on to win 1-0 and record their second win.
They’ve not lost since former Kenyan international Sammy “Pamzo” Omollo joined the Frank Ouna-led technical bench as assistant coach three weeks ago.
They beat Leopards 1-0 in Omollo’s first match before recording back-to-back draws against Vihiga United and Western Stima.
This victory took their tally to 10 points, three below the reigning champions Gor Mahia whose limping form has seen them lose two games this season.
“Oktay must go”
During the scuffle, chants of “Oktay must go” rented the air signaling dissatisfaction over the Turkish-Cypriot coach Hassan Oktay, days after Gor failed to retain the SportPesa Cup in Dar es Salaam.
Gor were bundled out by little known Mbao FC from Mwanza in the first game.
Oktay has reportedly two competitives games to shape up or ship out.
Mathare open five-point gap
At Moi Sports Centre, Nairobi, 2008 champions Mathare United opened a five-point gap at the helm of the league with a 3-1 win over visiting Vihiga United.
Mathare defender Johnson Omurwa scored an won goal in the 31st minute before Kevin Kimani restored parity from the spot four minutes before the break.
Vihiga’s Moffat Juma scored an own goal for the Slum Boys’ lead before Cliff Nyakeya sealed victory.
Mathare have accumulated 23 points, five ahead of second-placed Bandari, who fell 1-0 to Kariobangi Sharks in the SportPesa Cup final on Sunday in Dar es Salaam.
Zoo feel the heat
Zoo Kericho coach Sammy Okoth bemoaned the loss of three of his key players in the 3-2 loss to Sofapaka in an early kick-off in Machakos.
Sofapaka headed into the break leading 3-0 thanks to Pistone Mutamba, Elli Asieche and Umaru Kasumba goals. Danson Chetambe and Johnstone Ligare pulled two back.
“We are struggling to find players to fit in the shoes left by Madoya (Mike), Kipkirui (Nicholas) and Kipyegon (Isaac),” said coach Okoth in reference to the trio who joined their KPL rivals in pre-season.
Madoya signed for Tusker while Kipkirui and Kipyegon were snapped up by Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards respectively.
The match was John Baraza’s second win in three games since taking charge as Sofapaka head coach a fortnight ago.
Batoto ba Mungu moved to tenth position with 11 points, four better than Zoo who dropped into the relegation zone.
Posta extend winless run
Posta Rangers lost their fifth consecutive game following a 1-0 defeat away to Sony Sugar in another match.
John Kamau seems not have found a winning side as relegation looms for the struggling mailmen.
KPL WEEKEND RESULTS
Sofapaka 3-2 Zoo Kericho (Kenyatta stadium, Machakos)
KCB 1-0 Gor Mahia (Kenyatta stadium, Machakos)
Ulinzi Stars 0-0 Kakamega Homeboyz (Afraha stadium, Nakuru)
Nzoia Sugar 2-1 Mount Kenya United (Sudi Stadium, Bungoma )
Sony Sugar 1-0 Posta Rangers (Awendo Green Stadium, Migori)
Mathare United 3-1 Vihiga United (MISC Kasarani, Nairobi)