Although Gor Mahia bagged the 2018 SportPesa Premier (SPL) title long before the curtains fell in the season last weekend, the achievements of some teams which were below them in the pecking order cannot go unnoticed.
As Gor won the title with an advantage of 13 points clear at the top, Bandari who took the runners-up position carved out a niche for themselves as the team that conceded the fewest number of goals at 20.
When Bandari enlisted Bernard Mwalala as the new coach to replace Ken Odhiambo in July, the former came with a philosophy that turned things round for the dockers and especially in defence.
The qualities of Bandari’s rear weaved around Nicholas Meja, Fred Nkata, Bernard Odhiambo and Congolese Felly Mulumba was discernible and especially when the team broke Gor’s unbeaten record on August 7 at Mbaraki Sports ground in a 2-1 win over the Green Army.
It is such wonderful record that one can safely say that Bandari first choice goalkeeper Farouk Shikalo, who is with the national team for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia, is the man who provided the safest pair of hands in the SPL.
Back to Gor, the team wound up the league with the bragging rights of not only winning an unprecedented 17th SPL title but also one which plundered the highest number of goals at 71.
Admittedly, Gor were on a roll when it came to scoring with much of the credit going to Rwandese duo of Jacques Tuyisenge and Meddie Kagere, who has since joined Tanzanian giants Simba FC.
Tuyisenge came short of bagging the Golden Boot Award with a goal-shy off the ultimate winner in Kariobangi Sharks’ new kid on the block Eric Kapaito.