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Omala vs Rupia & Mathews vs Katasi: The silent battles to be decided on FKF PL final day

Friday, June 23rd, 2023 07:38 | By
Gor Mahia striker Benson Omala celebrates a goal. PHOTO/Gor Mahia/Facebook.
Gor Mahia striker Benson Omala celebrates a goal. PHOTO/Gor Mahia/Facebook.

Although much of the focus will be on the Football Kenya Federation Premier League title race, the Golden Boot and Golden Glove contests will also attract considerable interest.

After being at the top for most of the season, Benson Omala lost the post on Sunday when Gor Mahia were defeated 3-2 by Kakamega Homeboyz.

Police FC striker Elvis Rupia went top when he took his tally to 26 goals following his brace against relegated Vihiga Bullets at Police Sacco.

Tight race

With Omala at 25, one goal behind Rupia, it means the Golden Boot will be up for grabs on the final day of the season.

Against Homeboyz, who fought back to claim the victory at the stoppage time courtesy of Hillary Otieno’s goal, Omala did not start but came on in the second half.

Patrick Kaddu led Gor Mahia’s attacking lineup and scored the opener before Homeboyz mounted a comeback to dent K’Ogalo’s title hopes.

Omala came on in the second half and had the ball in the net, but it was ruled out for offside. Johnathan McKinstry preferred to start the former Kisumu Day star from the bench, as he had just joined his teammates after participating in the Four-Nations tournament in Mauritius with Harambee Stars.

Omala, for the better part of the season, had opened a huge gap between him and Rupia, and was destined to run with the Golden Boot, but was kept silent in the latter games, and this helped Rupia close in on him.

Eyes will be on McKinstry to see whether he will start Omala or if he would prefer Kaddu to lead his lines again when they take on Nairobi City Stars.

The coach is already under pressure as the title race tightens, and should he start the Ugandan over Omala again, this surely will put him under more pressure given how the latter has been more dependable.

Police FC striker Elvis Rupia in action. PHOTO/Police FC/Facebook.
Police FC striker Elvis Rupia in action. PHOTO/Police FC/Facebook.

Rupia, barring any injury, is all but certain to start for Police in their final game and will get an opportunity to claim the gong.

Gor Mahia would have sealed the title race at Kasarani if they had won and Tusker lost. But they lost, and the Brewers drew Posta Rangers, meaning the winner will be decided on the final day.

The Golden Boot race has been a competition between Omala and Kenya Police's talisman Rupia, as the other strikers have lagged behind.

Joseph Mwangi is a distant third with 15 goals, while Abdalla Hassan and Umaru Kasumba, both of Bandari, each have 12 goals, and Kevin Etemsi from Nairobi City Stars also has 12 goals.

Tusker’s Degratius Ojok has scored 10, while Kennedy Owino of KCB, Ulinzi Stars’ Hillary Simiyu, Brian Yakhama of Talanta, and Kariobagi Sharks’ Tyson Otieno all have nine goals with one game to go.

Golden Glove race

Meanwhile, the Golden Glove is another battlefront in the league whose winner can be decided on the final day.

For now, Gor Mahia’s Gad Mathews sits at the top of the list with 17 goals, even though he failed to keep a clean sheet against Homeboyz.

Gor Mahia goalkeeper Gad Mahews. PHOTO/Gad Mathews/Facebook.
Gor Mahia goalkeeper Gad Mathews. PHOTO/Gad Mathews/Facebook.

Had Nzoia Sugar’s Humphery Katasi managed a clean sheet in their match against KCB at Sudi Stadium, he would have taken his tally to 17. All is not over for him, though, as he would hope to keep one and hope Mathews concedes against Nairobi City Stars.

Although AFC Leopards have had a poor season generally, Levis Opiyo has so far managed 14 clean sheets. Job Ochieng of Kenya Police, Brian Bwire of Tusker FC, and KCB’s Bryne Omondi, who was recently given his Kenya debut, all have 13 clean sheets.

Patrick Matasi, who failed to get a slot in the last Harambee Stars squad, has seven clean sheets registered while playing for Tusker and Kenya Police this season.

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