Sports

Nakumatt face playoff fight to avoid closing shop

Beleaguered SportPesa Premier League (SPL) side Nakumatt FC are on the precipice after losing 2-0 at home to Vihiga United on the final match day of 2018 top flight.

The loss means a financially-stricken Nakumatt end the season third from bottom and will be subjected to a two-legged play-off with third-placed team from the National Super League (NSL) to decide who plays in SPL in the 2018/2019 season.

Dramatic results were recorded on the final day as Posta Rangers, Chemelil Sugar, Nzoia Sugar and Vihiga all avoided the gruelling play off. Despite five teams’ futures hanging in the balance going into the final fixture, the clash between Nakumatt and Vihiga was a poisoned chalice for as whoever lost was set for two more fixtures.

Impressive forward Amos Kigadi and Michael Misigo ensured Vihiga avoided the play off with first half goals that condemned Nakumatt to a fight for their top-flight lifeline. Second-placed Bandari FC finished the season with a flourish, thrashing relegated Thika United 5-1 at Mbaraki Stadium in Mombasa.  Striker Wycliffe Ochomo scored a brace in the first half to put the coastal club on cruise control after promising midfielder James Kinyanjui had handed Thika a surprise lead. Yema Mwana then got his brace in the 70th and 83rd minutes before Thika’s top-flight exit was sealed with a late strike.

Champions Gor Mahia lost their final game of the season by a solitary goal as Tusker cemented an unlikely third place in a season that begun so abysmally. John Kamau scored in the first half and the brewers defended aptly to inflict a fifth loss of the season on K’Ogalo.

Nzoia Sugar added to AFC Leopards woes, beating them 2-0 to guarantee their safety.

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