Five key takeaways from FKF Premier League MD25

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Naaman Balecho. Gor Mahia managed to extend their lead at the top of the table to 8 points. Kariobangi Sharks and Ulinzi Stars put a dent in Tusker and Bandari’s title charge, respectively.

The Kenyan topflight resumed after a long international break and ended with crucial victories in the relegation end of the table as the top remained largely unchanged. Here are the talking points from the weekend action. Lloyd Kavuchi, Mathew Tegisi, and Bryan Michira scored for Tore Bobe against the Mailmen, who continue to fall down the pecking order despite looking like a title challenger not long ago.

Coach Sammy Omollo knows the road to redemption is still very long – they are still 6 points adrift of safety – but with 27 points to fight for, there is no giving up. George Onyango, captain for the day, said: “We showed we can compete. We are not in the position we wanted to be but we will take one game at a time.”

Next up, they travel to Muhoroni Youth where it looks like they will face more than just a football match. Just ask City Stars. The City boys had a lot to say about officiating in the defeat as they had three of their goals chalked off.

Their goalkeeper Edwin Mukolwe described the match as ‘pathetic and very disgusting.’

A lot has always been said about the Muhoroni Stadium, from hostility to biased refereeing to a dangerous playing surface but it feels deliberate that no action has been taken by the league’s administration. City Stars are the latest, and won’t be the last team, to raise complaints, but as has been the case over the years, no investigations will be done. It doesn’t make for a good reading if you are visiting Muhoroni at the weekend.

Shabana is the next opponent, or victim. It feels safe to say they will have their own grievances. Tusker’s four-game winning run had many pundits beginning to think they could surmount a late title charge but defeat against Kariobangi Sharks at the weekend has raised doubts.

It was a five-goal thriller in Machakos, with Sharks winning by the odd goal scored by Julius Masaba. John Makwatta’s brace had given then restored Sharks’ lead with Tusker scoring through Dennis Oguta and Deogratious Ojok. However, Masaba had the final say as Sharks made it 8 goals in two matches, having thumped Posta Rangers 5-1 in their previous league encounter.

The Brewers remain second, 8 points behind league leaders Gor Mahia, who were also held to a barren stalemate. It has been a remarkable turnaround for Abdallah Juma’s side who were looking like they would be sucked into the relegation dogfight just four matchdays ago. They were some class above Nzoia who went behind inside ten minutes, Joe Wathira giving the hosts the lead.

Titus Kapchanga made it 2-0 at the stroke of half-time with Batts Awita and Maxwell Odada making sure of the points with two late strikes. Seal are now just a point off the top 8 as they embark on a tricky run of fixtures that has them facing a wounded City Stars, Muhoroni Youth, as well as leaders Gor Mahia and Tusker. Whatever happens, at least they know survival is guaranteed.

With Tusker losing a day earlier, Kogalo had the chance to extend their merit at the summit but they failed to find a way past Homeboyz who are now on a seven-game unbeaten run. Goals have run dry for Johnathan McKinstry’s men who, besides the 4-0 drubbing of Posta in early March, have scored more than twice in only one of their last 10 matches. The boss doesn’t sound troubled though as their rivals failed to take advantage.

“Any team offered an eight-point lead with nine games to go would take it. So, we go into the next game against Nzoia in a good mood,” he said in his post-match interview.

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