Mathare United forward Cliff Nyakeya is setting the pace in 2018/19 SportPesa Premier League Golden Boot race with four goals that have crucially propped the 2008 champions two points clear at the top of the table after five games.
The Gor Mahia academy graduate fell short of the award last season in the dying stages of the league when Kariobangi Sharks’ Eric Kapaito waltzed past Nyakeya’s tally of 14 to scoop the award with 16 goals.
With just five matches played, Nyakeya has plundered four against Chemelil Sugar, Nzoia Sugar, Posta Rangers and newly-promoted KCB to take an early lead. Kapaito, who won the golden boot last season, is yet to kick a ball owing to a foot injury. The other two players who finished above Nyakeya, Jacques Tuyisenge is struggling for goals while Elvis Rupia is playing in the Zambian league.
That leaves the 21-year-old as the one to watch. He has Sony Sugar’s Enock Agwanda and Tusker’s Sydney Ochieng for the company. Of the two, Agwanda poses the biggest threat to Nyakeya’s march to the golden boot.
The burly Sony Sugar man played half of last season and scored eight goals to finish a joint 9th. He has started the current season with great zeal, scoring three goals so far and angling for the ultimate prize.
Agwanda netted against Tusker, Vihiga United and Kakamega Homeboyz to keep the sugar millers third on the table. He is targeting 20 by the end of May when the league concludes.
“Any striker dreams of winning the golden boot and I pray for strength and wisdom to achieve it this season. My team-mates have been supportive during matches and that has enabled me to find the back of the net. We work as a unit but being a striker, I know I must score or I would be judged harshly,” said the former Gor Mahia and Bandari player.
“For a very long time, top scorers have not reached 20 goals so this season that is my target. If I hit 20, I don’t think anyone can catch up with me. I want to fight and get to that mark,” he added.
Gor Mahia signed Kenya’s most prolific scorer of recent times in Dennis Oliech and the 33-year-old immediately set 30 goals as his target. Whether or not Oliech will hit the ground running and attain his target remains in question and Agwanda has wished him well.