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Relegation dogfight as NSL curtains fall

It is a do-or-die; now or never situation with candidates for relegation facing off as the 2018 National Super League (NSL) enters a tense season finale.

Round 38 may be etched on the minds of the players this afternoon at Awendo Green Stadium as GFE 105 from Eldoret town meet hosts Migori Youth in a crunch tie. The pair is only separated by a single point and this deadline day duel should keenly be anticipated in the domestic football quarters.

Seventeenth placed Migori Youth on 25 points who were hammered 3-0 by Bidco United last time out only need a draw to survive the big chop. The stakes are even more intriguing considering GFE 105 on 24 points has a stronger goal difference (+4) over their opponents Saturday.

However of major concern to the border team is that their scoring ability is greatly wanting as they have only notched 20 goals in 35 matches while they have conceded 58 goals.

The Rift Valley side that beat Kangemi All Stars 2-1 at Sudi Stadium last weekend have to win to be sure of survival. They currently have 22 goals on their favour against 56 conceded which pundits believe they must work on critically.

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has already promoted Fortune Sacco and Eldoret Youth from the Division One Championship. Whoever loses the battle at Awendo Stadium will join already relegated Nakuru All-Stars in the lower division.

According to football analyst Simeon Mulama, the cracking match should be well officiated so that no team feels hard done by. “We have a situation whereby both sides believe they can stay in and so this fixture will be explosive.

Competent referees must be assigned this match. Fair play must be seen to occur because of the high stakes involved. I feel there will be nerves involved but essentially football must be the ultimate winner.”

Meanwhile eyes will also be in Machakos and Nairobi for two tasty fixtures to determine play-off slots. Already promoted KCB will be home at Camp Toyoyo in a juicy duel against rivals Nairobi Stima who are third on the log with 68 points same as Ushuru who lock horns with Bidco United at Kenyatta Stadium.

With a goal difference of +3 separating the bankers and the taxmen, big attention will be on who blinks first and who has the last shot at playing Nakumatt in the decider for a premiership slot.

— BARRY SILAH

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