Ingwe, Tusker bounce back to winning ways

Tuesday, January 24th, 2023 01:00 | By
Ingwe, Tusker bounce back to winning ways
Nzoia Sugar’s coach Salim Babu reacts after his side conceeded the second goal against Police during their Sunday League match. PD/ DAVID NDOLO

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League defending champions Tusker and fellow big-wigs AFC Leopards sought to prove at the weekend that misfortunes can be curtailed if one has a resolve to do it.

A 1-0 win over Sofapaka at the weekend was sufficient for Tusker to reclaim the league lead they had surrendered to Nzoia while Leopards bounced back from a disappointing 2-1 loss to Bidco United in results that more or less put the title chase wide open.

Although they cannot be ruled out yet as far as winning the title is concerned, Nzoia suffered a setback after losing 2-0 to Kenya Police just when the former’s fans were looking ahead of their team.

Before their respective conquests, Tusker and Leopards were victims of ridicule by their fans after an indifferent performance that belied their status as among the crowd-pulling teams in the country.

Yet Tusker, who had been smarting from a less inspiring goalless draw with Nzoia at home, have a lot of work to do in safeguarding their leadership given that they have played more matches as compared to their closest challengers in second-placed KCB, Nzoia Sugar and multiple champions Gor Mahia.

Simply put, Tusker has its work cut out in ensuring that they maintain its ranking with the team’s coach Robert Matano indicating as much.

“As I said before, dropping points is normal and there is still room for improvement but having said that, we need to be cautious as there are determined teams which are breathing on our necks. It’s good that we are back on top since our pedigree allows us to be there but honestly, we ought to respect other teams that are thirsting for the title,” observed Matano.

For Tusker, the win came as a big relief after their fans were left crest-fallen following an earlier 2-1 defeat by Bandari at Mbaraki Sports ground in Mombasa in a result which served as good riddance for Nzoia to temporarily rule the roost.

Still, in Mombasa, Leopards did well to succeed whereas Tusker failed by beating Bandari 2-0 before a disbelieving crowd.

Before the match, Ingwe were licking their wounds having lost to both Bidco United and Wazito and not even a slim victory thereafter over basement team Mathare United could help appease their fans.

Following the win, Leopards are in the ninth position in the standings and will be seeking to add Gor Mahia to their list of casualties in the Mashemeji Derby in Nairobi next weekend at Nyayo Stadium.

Pride of place goes to Gor who not only maintained their consistency in a 3-1 win over Vihiga Bullets but also had their on-song striker Benson Omala, their hat-trick hero of the day, stretch his top goal-scoring to nine strikes.

 The breakthrough saw Gor back into fourth place in the season, three points behind leaders Tusker.

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