By GILBERT WANDERA
It is always assumed that playing at home gives the hosts an advantage over the visiting team.
But this fact did not matter as the second leg of the Kenyan Premier League kicked off at the weekend with only champions Tusker winning their home match.
It was another pointer to the surprise that is expected in what is turning out to be one of the most competitive leagues.
On Saturday, Karuturi Sports were by all accounts and intents expected to easily overcome former champions Mathare United. Karuturi had every advantage in their way. One, they were at home and secondly, they had just completed an elaborate recruitment exercise that injected fresh blood into their squad.
Mathare on the other hand were going into the match on the back of what was turning out to be one of their worst seasons and with no worthy recruitment to talk about. Instead they even released midfielder Jamal Mohammed.
In the end, however, Jesse Were scored a brace and set up Francis Ouma to score the third. Even a late goal by veteran striker Jacob Omondi was not enough to help the flower men.
Coach Michael Nam was left complaining about missed chances in a match his side were expected to easily win. “In football, it is all about taking your chances. Today Mathare got just a few chances and utilised them. We got plenty of opportunities but wasted them,” a disappointed Nam said after the match.
It was the same story in Thika where City Stars registered another major upset in the KPL by stopping Thika United 1-0.
By all accounts, there was no comparison between the two sides. While Thika have had a splendid season so far, City Stars were until just two months rooted at the basement of the standings and despite their recent come-back were not expected to trouble Thika especially because they were at home.
With this win, City Stars completed a double over Thika having won then first leg 3-2 in Nairobi. Gor Mahia also picked all three points away after stopping Western Stima 2-1 with new signings Godfrey Njuguna and Dan Sserunkuma claiming one goal a piece to justify the huge investment to bring them to the club.
It is the second time in a row that Gor are winning in Western Stima. Last season they won by a solitary goal.