Barry Silah @obel_barry
Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) are on the verge of earning promotion to the SportPesa Premier League (SPL) following a 2-0 win over Coast Stima yesterday.
This result sees them go up to 72 points while retaining their second position in the National Super League (NSL) standings with 34 matches played. Their hopes were heightened as the heavily contested sibling derby between Western Stima and Nairobi Stima ended in a 1-1 tie at Karuturi Stadium which made the arithmetic for the latter complex following the five-point gap between them and KCB. Ugandan import for Western Stima Junior Mukisa was involved in a nasty concussion while a rejected penalty appeal by Nairobi Stima was a huge talking point.
With two matches to go, Nairobi Stima will be praying for a miracle that the next two fixtures for the Bankers go against them so that they play catch up. As it stands however, third-placed Stima under Ibrahim Shikanda look primed for the play-offs.
“We are nearing the end, but we have to keep a cool head. Our game plan worked alright even though they frustrated us in the second half. I am happy with our composure and performance,” said KCB coach Elvis Ayany who still has a big date with Nairobi Stima in 10 days time.
The match that was held at Mbaraki Sports Club saw both goals come in the first half as the Bankers ran the show from the whistle. Dennis Nganga opened the scoring with a delightful free kick in the 30th minute after lively Simon Abuko was tripped near the edge.
Kennedy Owino had a missed two clear sitters in the early exchanges before the red hot Abuko fired in from close range in the 42nd minute.
Meanwhile Nairobi City Stars beat eight man Kisumu All-Stars 2-0 at Hope Center to keep them in prime push for a top five finish.
The Kawangware-based side had surprisingly struggled in the first half against the lakeside team which travelled with a lesser party due to financial issues.
However, something had to give in the second half when the sixth placed City Stars under John Amboko nailed them with fast countering football that caught them limited in numbers.
Elsewhere FC Talanta had to settle for a barren draw against difficult Administration Police at Camp Toyoyo. Relegation threatened AP who has one more match, fought tooth and nail and made work difficult for Abdalla Juma’s Talanta who are 12th in the log.AP will be hoping to confirm survival with a final run win next weekend.