Ushuru, KCB falter to hand Wazito, Vihiga advantage

The race for promotion to the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) next year now looks to be between four teams following surprising results in the National Super League (NSL) last weekend.

In what looked to be a two-horse race between Ushuru and KCB at the start of last week, things are now different as Wazito, placed fifth on the log last week, have now gatecrashed the party with Vihiga United also set to have a say in the destiny of the title.

This is after Ushuru and KCB suffered identical 2-1 losses to Nairobi City Stars and Isebania respectively at the weekend to allow in Wazito, who thumped 18th-placed Agrochemical while Vihiga have a match in hand.

With the top two teams gaining automatic promotion and the third-placed going into a play-off with the 16th-placed team in the SPL, leaders Ushuru on 72 points, second-placed Wazito 71 and KCB, placed third with 70 points, have all played 33 matches while Vihiga, who occupy fourth with 68 points have played 32 and can move to second with victory over City Stars tomorrow.

That leaves little room for error as there are only three games remaining and the title race is likely to be decided on the final day. Before last weekend’s defeat, Ken Kenyatta’s Ushuru had won seven straight matches, the highlight being the 4-1 thumping of KCB and being the longest serving coach in the division, he will hope to quickly turn things around and get the tax collectors back to the top flight after their demotion last year.

For KCB, who were relegated in 2015, the script is the same. The bankers have experienced Leonard Saleh at the helm, having rehired him to return them to the “promised land” as he was in charge of the team for several years when they were SPL regulars before their relegation two years ago.

The title race could already have been sealed at this stage had Vihiga avoided a slump in form that saw them throw away an eight-point lead at the start of October. Edward Manoah’s side have a chance to right those wrongs if they can put together four straight victories starting with tomorrow’s clash.

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