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League leaders KCB face bottom placed Mathare United with all to play for as Gor hosts Sofapaka

By Charles Thuku
Sunday, June 20th, 2021 05:00 | 2 mins read
John Mwangi of Mathare United shields the ball from Brian Ndenga of KCB during their FKF-PL first leg match at Ruaraka grounds last month. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) FC and Mathare United are reading from different scripts and when they clash in a Betking Premier League late kick off at Ruaraka grounds on Saturday, fingers will be crossed amongst the two combatants.

While the table-topping KCB are vouching to win every match at their disposal, including today’s against Mathare to boost their chances of winning the league to represent Kenya in the 2022 Africa Champions League, basement team Mathare will be trying to avoid defeat as this will only worsen their relegation worries. 

KCB coach Zedekiah “Zico” Otieno has in the recent past laid bare the secrets of the team’s meteoric rise while expressing satisfaction with his players input in all departments.

“We are driven by raw determination to succeed. This is KCB and I must say all the departments are up to to scratch which did not necessitate replenishing of the squad in the second leg of the season,” said Otieno.

To pundits, this is a statement that contains an iota of truth given the performance of KCB players like international defender Nashon ‘Crouch’ Alembi, David ‘Messi’ Ambulu and Joseph ‘Spoti’ Okoth. 

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KCB ran off 1-0 winners over Bidco at the dreary hunting grounds of Thika last Wednesday and will be hoping to continue the good run against Mathare who are still clutching onto reeds in the season with a paltry eight points from as many matches.

That said, the bankers are seemingly thirsting to make a debut in the continent’s flagship inter-club championship and will be hoping to register more wins before the June 30 deadline Confederation of African Football (CAF) has given Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to submit the name of Kenya’s emissaries in the event.

For Mathare, who are under the tutelage of Frank Ouna, another loss will be catastrophic as it will virtually confirm their banishment from the top-tier league.

In the meantime, seven other matches are on the card but it would be brutally honest to say that the potential pressure-cooker is the one between Sofapaka and Gor Mahia at Thika Stadium today.

Early this week, Batoto Ba Mungu surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with AFC Leopards and will be the ones under pressure to conjure upm a descent result after losing 2-1 to K’ogalo in the first leg.

The most interesting bit of today’s match is that Sofapaka midfield Lawrence Juma, who is among the leading scorers in the league, shall meet his former pay masters and common sense dictates that he should not dish out any favours to them.

Juma struck a brace against Ingwe and this is one man Gor defenders should give tight marking lest he causes a similar damage.

At Utalii ground, Kariobangi Sharks, wounded after a 2-0 defeat by Wazito, will be angling to vent their anger on Tusker in yet another match expected to be explosive.

Charles Thuku