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Thika, Stima, Mathare fold sleeves in massive survival brawl


first_imgKPL insist two teams will be automatically relegated while FKF say the 16th placed team will head into a play off with the third placed team from the National Super League on top of the two automatically relegated.An Appeal Court ruling scheduled for Friday morning over the composition and size of the league was set to give a major direction on the small battle, but the same could not happen as the judges had not listed it in the day’s order.It is expected that the ruling will be delivered on notice, once the judges wrap up the ruling and are available.In the meantime, KPL teams will be fighting to avoid the bottom three slots.-Muhoroni Youth-Muhoroni Yoyth’s Bliss Kityo (right) celebrates his late equalizer against Sofapaka with team mate Collins Agade during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Nyayo Stadium on July 29, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluMuhoroni Youth are placed bottom and after their 6-2 spanking at the hands of Bandari on Wednesday, their goose seems cooked already. They will be relegated from the top tier after a five year stay if they lose away to Kariobangi Sharks on Saturday and either Mathare or Thika win on Sunday.The sugar belt side is currently seven points from safety. A loss with a win for Mathare or Thika will make it mathematically impossible to catch up as it will increase the gap to 10 points and they have only three matches left.Meanwhile, Mathare, Thika and Western Stima placed 15th, 16th and 17th respectively still have their hopes high to retain top tier status.-Mathare United-Mathare United players line up a wall to defend a freekick during their match against Gor Mahia on October 14, 2017 at the Thika Sub-County Stadium. PHOTO/Raymond MakhayaMathare play at home to Nzoia Sugar, Thika will be away to deposed champions Tusker FC at Ruaraka while Stima play at home to Ulinzi Stars in Kisumu.A win for Mathare will keep them above the red zone. The slum boys have not lost in their last five outings, but the most unconvincing stat is their win rate having won only one of the five, the rest being draws.However, head coach Francis Kimanzi continually keeps a brave face that his boys have what it takes to ensure they remain in the league.“They are young players but at the same time, they have shown that spirit needed so I am not worried at all. It is a tricky end to the season where each team is looking for three points and I know it is not going to be easy,” Kimanzi noted.A loss for Mathare against Nzoia coupled with a win for Thika who play Tusker at Ruaraka will see the two sides swap places, Mathare going down to the 50/50 relegation spot of 16th and Thika back to safety.-Thika United-Posta Rangers midfielder Georson Likono goes dowon under a challenge from Thika United’s Eugene Said Tsuma during a Kenyan Premier League clash at the Ruaraka Complex on September 23, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluIt is a scenario Thika boss Nicholas Muyoti hopes for, but knows fate is out of his hands.Ahead of their tie against Tusker, a side they beat 2-0 in the first leg, Muyoti’s charge is slowed down with the absence of striker Onwudi Chibueze.The Nigerian forward scored the lone goal in Thika’s crucial 1-0 win over Sony Sugar in midweek, but in the same game received a red card. His absence, serving a one match ban will be a huge blow for Muyoti.Tusker have found their rhythm in the sunset days of the season and will be a hard nut to crack for Thika having won three of their last five matches, moving to second on the log.Stima will also be in a tough battle in Kisumu, facing soldiers Ulinzi Stars who have had an underwhelming season and will be aiming to jump back on their feet failing to win any of their last five matches.Stima have no option but to win against an opponent they have played to three consecutive 1-1 draws with over the last three meetings. Head coach Richard Makumbi knows the task ahead and he remains confident, despite the midweek loss to Gor Mahia that they have what it takes.“We have improved so much since I came in and I am very confident that we can get out of this situation. At the moment, the only thing we need to improve on is scoring. That is the only open secret of doing well in football,”KPL weekend fixtures:Saturday: Kakamega Homeboyz v Chemelil Sugar (Mumias Complex), Kariobangi Sharks v Muhoroni Youth (Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani).Sunday: Tusker FC v Thika United (Ruaraka Complex), Mathare United v Nzoia Sugar, AFC Leopards v Nakumatt (Moi International Sports Centre Kasarani), Bandari v Posta Rangers (Mbaraki Complex), SoNy Sugar v Sofapaka (Awendo Stadium), Western Stima v Ulinzi Stars (Moi Stadium, Kisumu), Zoo Kericho v Gor Mahia (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru).0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Western Stima’s Ezekiel Otuoma celebrates his goal against Gor Mahia. Photo/ RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 3- With three matches remaining before the end of the season, the fight for survival in the 2017 Kenyan Premier League season will be down to three teams; Thika United, Western Stima and Mathare United.It is not yet clear how many teams will land on the relegation chopping board with both the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and Kenyan Premier League (KPL) speaking different languages.last_img

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