Football fans in Nakuru will have the privilege of being the first to have a glimpse of the glittering SportPesa Premier League (SPL) trophy during the deciding match between Gor Mahia and Ulinzi Stars at Afraha Stadium on Sunday.
All eyes are on Gor who are on the verge of clinching the title as they only require a mere draw against the army side to be crowned the undisputed 2017 champions for a record 16th times since the inception of the league.
Simply put, the title seems a foregone conclusion for Gor who, thanks to a resounding 3-1 win over Kariobangi Sharks in Kisumu last week, enabled them to bridge an unassailable lead in the league standing thus condemning the rest of the chasing pack to wind up second.
Suffice to say, Ulinzi will only acting spoilers against K’ogalo who are virtually guaranteed not only a 16thKPL gong but also a ticket to represent Kenya in the lucrative Africa Champions League next year.
As Gor prepare to uncork the champagne bottle, Ulinzi will be hoping to make amends after their inexplicable 1-0 defeat at the hands of AFC Leopards last week in a result which put paid to their chances of winding up among the top teams in the season.
Ulinzi Stars coach Benjamin Nyangweso felt the absence of some of their key players was the major contributory factor to the shock defeat by Leopards. Former Sony Sugar man Timothy Odhiambo started in goal with James Saruni missing alongside Geoffrey Kokoyo, Mohammed Hassan, Stephen Waruru and Samuel “Onyi” Onyango.
Nyangweso is adamant Ingwe was damn lucky to get maximum points in the match “This is a match we wanted to win but things did not go as planned. We missed the services of our key players and that affected our game plan,” remarked Nyangweso.
But be it as it may. Ulinzi will be hard pressed to deny Gor at least a point in the combat going by the great performance of K’ogalo against Sharks last week.
For Ulinzi, their man hopes lies on Onyango and Waruru while Gor is expected to summon the likes of Jacques Tuyisenge, Jean Baptise “Miggy” Mugiraneza, Meddie Kagere and on-song Wellington Ochieng’ to do the job.
Meanwhile, Sofapaka midfield dynamo Maurice Odipo has said the team is determined to risk leg and limb to win the match against Western Stima in Narok Stadium on Sunday. The long-serving defensive midfielder said even a draw will be unacceptable as it may be a detriment to the team’s chances of winding up in the second position of the league in which Gor has virtually sealed victory.