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Western Stima, KCB keep direct promotion quest alive

Barry Silah and Viden Ochieng @PeopleSports11

Western Stima and KCB are the teams to beat in the quest for automatic promotion to the SportPesa Premier League.

Both teams secured maximum points at the weekend to maintain their first and second positions in the second tier National Super League (NSL), helped by title rivals Nairobi Stima and Ushuru dropping points.

Confusion marred the match pitting Green Commandos and Western Stima when the game failed to kick off at Bukhungu Stadium after the management of the stadium denied them access to the facility.

Drama unfolded when both teams turned up for the match and found the changing rooms locked.  The players had to be inspected at the main stand by fourth official Andrew Opul with stadium manager Titus Otiende saying he had communicated to the home team (Green Commandos) in advance about the unavailability of the stadium through their team manager Khalifa Salim.

“I informed Green Commandos officials that the stadium had been closed due to massive construction work that is going on in preparation for the Mashujaa Day celebrations that will be held here next month,” Otiende told People Sport on phone.

As a result, Stima were awarded three points with two goals, retaining top position on the 19-team table with 73 points, seven a drift of second-placed KCB, who beat a stubborn Nairobi City Stars 1-0 for their 20th win of the season on Saturday.

The win ensures stand-in coach Elvis Ayany has his 100 per cent record intact as he has now won three straight games since replacing John Kamau.

“It is far from over. We must fight until the end. It was one of those tough matches but the three points are what count at this crucial time,” said Ayany.

Meanwhile, Ushuru suffered a set back in their promotion quest following a 1-1 draw against Kibera Black Stars with Nairobi Stima, third on the log, also being held to barren draw by struggling Nakuru All Stars.

Lighting seems to be striking twice for Ushuru who started the season brightly and are now fading away at a crucial stage. Ken Kenyatta’s side missed out on promotion in a similar manner last season and are now 12 points behind the leaders. Relegation candidates Migori Youth’s woes piled following a 2-0 loss to Kangemi All Stars at Camp Toyoyo.

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