Who will be crowned FKF Premier League champions – Tusker or Kakamega Homeboyz?
This weekend will be the turning point for title hopefuls Tusker and Kakamega Homeboyz as curtains of the 2021/2022 Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League come down.
Both teams are within sight of a coveted title and neither can afford any slip-up in the final matches pencilled at their backyards on Sunday, which sums up quite an advantage.
While Tusker will train their guns on Posta Rangers in Ruaraka, Nairobi, Homeboyz will wrap up matters with a date against Kariobangi Sharks at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.
Many fans could be wondering where the cup shall be unveiled between the two venues.
But according to an official of the FKF Transformation Committee, considering that the title can go either way, there will be replica trophies on display in both match venues after which the original chalice will be presented to the champions at a date to be confirmed later.
Elsewhere at Mumias Complex, FKF Women’s League leaders Vihiga Queens will be presented with a trophy after their last match of the season against Wadadia.
For a lengthy part of the week since last weekend’s results by Tusker and Homeboyz, there has been speculation by fans as to which team amongst the two is likely to win the men's gong going by their close statistics in the standing.
As of now, Tusker is ahead with 60 points followed by Homeboyz with a similar point-haul but with an inferior goal difference.
But what exactly are the team handlers saying going into one of the closest finishes in the history of the country’s top-tier league?
Homeboyz coach Bernard Mwalala offered: “As I have always said before, our utmost target is to win a maiden title. It has been a marathon season but we definitely have what it takes to win the league,”Mwalala.
However, Mwalala, who has previously won cups in Tanzania while turning out for Dar-es-Salaam giants Young Africans (Yanga), rued Abana Abeingo shooting themselves on the foot by allowing Tusker to overtake them midway in the season.
“If we had been calmer and composed this would not have happened. The moment we started drawing matches, they (Tusker) inched closer but I like challenges and this is what I have instructed my players to take head-on going to the decider,”
After enjoying a purple patch in the first quarter of the season, the rain started beating Homeboyz with two consecutive draws against Sofapaka (1-1) and Kenya Police (2-2) and a 2-0 defeat by Tusker in their third match would then throw the title race wide open.
In the meantime, for Mwalala, Kariobangi Sharks is not the kind of team to treat with kid gloves and reckons that he expects a tough match.
“I have warned the players to brace for a tough challenge. We must be very efficient and must not try to concede. Sharks is a very good team capable of punishing any opponent who is not careful,” said Mwalala.
His Tusker counterpart Robert Matano said: “Everyone is saying we are red-hot favourites but I beg to differ and would rather wish to cross the bridge when we reach there,” said Matano.
Like Mwalala, Matano was wary of their final opponents while searching for the silverware.
“We are conscious that the league is a two-horse affair and that demands a bigger focus and especially now that we are set to face a battle-hardened team in Posta Rangers,” said Matano.
He added: “In as much as Rangers are not in the title race, the team is strong and I bet they would wish to wind up in a respectable position. They are capable of making life difficult for us on the pitch but all the same, we will approach them the same way as all others.”