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Homeboyz, City Stars set to illuminate premier league weekend

Saturday, January 22nd, 2022 02:30 | By
Kisumu All Stars players in action during a past Premier League duel against AFC Leopards before they were relegated. PD/EDWIN OTIENO

After a come-from-behind, 4-4 draw with hosts Kakamega Homeboyz at Bukhungu Stadium on Thursday, fast-rising Nairobi City Stars should be more than self-assured when the two teams meet in a return Kenya Premier League (KPL) in Ruaraka on Sunday.

Simba wa Nairobi, as City Stars are fondly known as, surprised many not least themselves in Kakamega when they turned the game on its head much to the disbelief of Homeboyz’s faithful.

It was a match that had its fair share of drama, Homeboyz, who are leading the top-tier league with 32 points, crumbling like a pack of cards after leading 4-2 in a result which reinvigorated City Stars’ chance of clinching the title for their first time ever.

The interesting bit is that should second-placed Stars vanquish Homeboyz, they will be within touching distance of assuming the lead for the first time.

Again, it will be an opportunity for City Stars trainer Nicholas Muyoti to renew acquaintance yet again with his former understudy Bernard Mwalala who is now in the books of Homeboyz.

Analysts highly expect Stars to get something from the match although it would be utterly wrong to write off Homeboyz on the grounds of their indifferent results in Nairobi. 

Once again, Moses Mudavadi, Brian Eshihanda and Dsavid Okoth whose goals lifted Homeboyz will be relied on while Stars are expected to draw inspiration from Sven Yidah, Timothy Ouma and Eric Ombija.

In Kasarani Annex Sunday, Bandari will be out to inflict revenge on crisis-hit Wazito. At Mbaraki Sports ground two days ago, Bandari played in the hands of Wazito who seems to have been pepped up by new coach Fred Ambani who replaced Francis Kimanzi.

Despite acute financial challenges, Wazito played like ‘possessed’ men at the searing heat in Mombasa, making the much experienced Bandari look ordinary and eventually beat them 1-0.

Ambani, a former AFC Leopards combative striker, made it clear that he would wish to prove that the success was not a fluke and will mostly rely on match-maker Kevin Kimani to get a positive result.

“I think the players showed a lot of character and I’m happy to have beaten a very strong team like Bandari in their backyard. For me, nothing will be as good as replicating the success in Nairobi,” he said.

In Kasarani, Mathare United continues life without besieged coach Ezekiel Akwana who resigned in a huff yesterday by officially communicating the same to the team's management.

“I hereby tender my resignation as the Head Coach of Mathare. Thank you to all the players I worked with,” read part of the letter.

Apparently, Akwana’s decision to quit Mathare was informed by ridicule from the team's fans after he presided over seven consecutive defeats in a relegation-haunted team that is lying in the seventeenth position in the chart with a paltry seven points from 15 matches.

In Thika today, Gor Mahia face much improved Bidco United in a back to back fixture that has all the ingredients of a thriller.

Early this week in Nairobi, Bidco seemed destined to upset K’ogalo after taking an early lead only for Samuel Onyango to pull the game out of the fire for K’ogalo with the equaliser through a controversial penalty.

Bidco coach Anthony Akhulia was least amused with the decision by the referee and has vowed to teach Gor a lesson as K’ogalo go hunting in Thika.

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