FKF-PL: Nzoia regain top spot, Police fry Bidco
Hosts Nzoia Sugar Sunday battled to a barren draw with AFC Leopards at Sudi Stadium in Bungoma to return to the summit of the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) with 28 points.
At Nyayo National Stadium in Nairobi, Kenya Police FC gunned down Bidco United 1-0, while former champions Ulinzi Stars disarmed troubled Vihiga Bullets by a similar margin at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.
Nzoia had lost top spot to 19-time winners Gor Mahia, who beat Nairobi City Stars 1-0 on Saturday, at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi.
The high octane contest at Sudi Stadium was attended by hundreds of fans from counties in the western region. The draw saw the millers keep their unbeaten run at their backyard.
It was a closely contested clash with the hosts dominating the midfield, while Leopards occasionally attempted to punish them on the break.
The last 10 minutes were so tense as Leopards goalkeeping coach Lawrence Webo was sent to the stands for protesting a decision by the center referee to award Nzoia a foul just inches away from their box.
Nzoia Sugar winger Hassan Beja blasted wide his effort from the free-kick.
“It was a very tough match. I am happy with the draw,” said Nzoia’s coach Salim Babu.
Leopards coach Patrick Aussems heaped praise on his charges for a good display, but was unhappy with some of the referee’s decisions.
“I must say that in Kenya, women referees are doing a good job and are more professional than their male counterparts. But we played well and had few chances, luck was not on our side,” he said.
With the draw, Leopards are yet to lose in their last six matches and are seventh with 22 points.
At Nyayo National Stadium, Harambee Stars’ striker Elvis Rupia’s goal late in the first-half made the difference. It was Rupia’s 10th strike of the season, one below top scorer Benson Omalla of Gor.
Police are fifth with 24 points, while Bidco are placed 13th with 15 points.
“It was not an easy match because our opponents played so well,” said Police’s coach Francis Baraza.
“My boys had to bring in the experience and it has given us victory.”
Bidco’s coach Anthony Akhulia blamed his attackers for the loss.
“We got more than five chances which we failed to convert. The work of a striker is to score and if you fail to do so, then it means you are not doing your job well,” he said.
Staphod Odhiambo’s 67th minute strike gave Ulinzi all points against Vihiga Bullets. The soldiers moved up two places on the log to sixth with 23 points.
Vihiga, who are grappling with a biting financial crisis, are 17th with four points only.
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