In less than 72 hours from today, the league curtains shall finally be drawn marking an end to what has been a much entertaining feast of football. Champions Gor Mahia wouldn’t have to worry anymore about final days- a few heartbreaks in the past three years might have condemned them to a desolate attitude but bouncing back has been the name of the game, consistency the song in their hearts and triumph a road they would love to travel again.
For Naivasha, a saddening past 2920 days of football finally seems to come to an end, or rather the start of the end. With Karuturi gone and Oserian (Champions 8 years ago) too gone, many KPL fans will miss the Naivasha trips but hope a new venue is presented to them, but that albeit till the Division One Playoffs.
The lowest moment of the final league day though just isn’t watching a group of 22 plus players bury their heads between their legs bidding the Kenyan Premier League goodbye- it’s the pain and anguish that would also come with missing out on a Top 8 Spot.
Our accomplishments though are never brought out onto light without looking back at some of our failures. From seemingly lazily worked out fixture routine to a whole load of hooliganism, boardroom decision making and fight for power and control- the best I must mention stood out, credit to them, for the ‘losers’ – it presents a new chance to start all over again and overcome the little challenges of a ‘round’ life.
Top 8 Opportunity;
With the league already won- Gor Mahia travel to Nakuru to not only present to their fans the KPL Trophy, it’s a chance too for Ulinzi and Salim to consolidate a place in the KPL TOP 8 position. First ever winners of the cup wouldn’t want to walk away from an opportunity that would make them make history as the first team to ever win the TOP 8 Cup twice- not in a situation like this; playing at home against a team with nothing to lose really.
At 40 points, Ulinzi seem to be on the edge though as it stands, position 6 would confirm TOP 8 football come what may. With Tusker, Thika on 39 points- Chemelil on 37 though at position 9, the feeling that a Chemelil win coupled with a Tusker & Thika win away at Western Stima and at home versus Muhoroni respectively- should send shivers down Ulinzi’s spine.
A few pundits though would advise a few jobs are on the line regarding this TOP 8 battle- what really matters outside the Title itself surely is a TOP 8 finish.
BETS; Ulinzi to pick at least a point versus Gor Mahia, Tusker away to W Stima would be tricky- Matano might be taking charge of his last 90 minutes, while Thika and Chemelil at home would give it all for a position in the Top 8. NOTE- A Tusker draw would peg them at 40 points, with a superior goal difference of 6, Chemelil would have to beat City Stars at least 5 goals.
With Muhoroni Youth safe and the onus on them to condemn Thika to a TOP 8 place or (depending on other results) a finish outside the Top 8 bracket, attention now turns to the teams in danger of going down. Western Stima too look safe with a goal difference of just -1 and now it’s upon Mathare, City Stars, Sony Sugar and Kakamega Homeboyz to make it happen. Karuturi seeking company as they prepare to go down host KCB a team currently at 4th position with only Bandari breathing down their necks should they lose and Bandari win away at Sony Sugar.
Oh the coincidence- while Karuturi got to win for the pride, for the very ‘last time’ as they seek to rebuild- a Bandari win would condemn Sony Sugar to near relegation as they hope Kakamega Homeboys don’t beat AFC Leopards. AFC coming from a loss away to Bandari last weekend would want to finish second a result that would condemn Kakamega Homeboys to the bottom tier no matter the results of the other fixtures.
Mathare United and City Stars look as outsiders in this relegation fight- far away from the nucleus but a result or two closer to accompanying Karuturi to the bottom. City Stars riding on a decent first leg performance away at Chemelil don’t present very good prospects for Koops (probably his final game) while Mathare at home to Sofapaka will cross their fingers Kakamega Homeboyz fall or win but not with a sizeable margin as the goal differences now stand at (-6, -2 respectively).
Sorry if I didn‘t mention so much about your team- shows you’re safe and ready for next season. Presenting the final day of the 2013 KPL Season to you, enjoy the moment- for those staying up, all the best. To all those going down- winners are determined by how well they react when they fall, rising up should never be a question, it should be the solution.
Unto the Champions- well won, thoroughly deserved- but again suddenly winning is not everything, being at the top counts!
KPL FINAL DAY FIXTURES;
Ulinzi v Gor Mahia
Mathare United v Sofapaka
Sony Sugar Fc v Bandari
Chemelil v City Stars
Karuturi v KCB
Western Stima V Tusker FC
AFC Leopards v Kakamega Homeboyz
Thika United v Muhoroni Youth