It's lucky escape for Chemelil, Zoo as they avoid play-offs

By Standard Sports: Thursday, May 30th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Mt Kenya players with borrowed uniform after their red jerseys clashed with their hosts' Ulinzi Stars. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Chemelil Sugar picked a crucial 1-0 win at home against Sony Sugar to avoid the playoffs on the last day of the SportPesa Premier League (SPL).

The sugar millers were in a must-win situation going into the end of the season as they sought to avoid the play-offs from where they would have been thrown into the relegation battle.

After a scoreless first half, it was, Philip Muchuma’s goal in the 69th minute that made all the difference for Chemelil as they picked maximum points to finish the season in 14th place with 34 points.

Zoo Kericho also avoided the play-offs after drawing 2-2 with KCB at Mumias Complex.

The bankers had to come from two goals down to pick a point after their opponents ran to a 2-0 lead by break time.

But Posta Rangers will now have to wait for the playoffs to know their fate after falling 2-1 to Tusker at Ruaraka grounds.

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Rangers needed to pick all three points at Ruaraka to avoid the playoffs but Michael Madoya’s goal in the 12thminute and Boniface Muchiri’s in the 30th minute denied them victory.

A late goal by veteran defender Jockins Atudo was not enough for Rangers who now finish the season in 16th place. A dejected Rangers coach John Kamau said the team lacked character and they have to muster the same in the playoffs to retain their position in the top tier.

“In the first half, Tusker were a very good side but we came back strongly in the second half but it was not good enough. We just did not have the character to turn it around,” he said.

Tusker coach Robert Matano said though he is disappointed to finish in the fourth position, he will seek to build on the same in the coming season.

In Mombasa, Stephen Waruru struck twice as former champions Sofapaka ensured they finished in the third position after bringing down Kakamega Homeboyz 2-0.

Waruru pounced on a free kick from Elly Asieche in the 19th minute to stab home the opening goal. 

Daniel Sakari could have pulled an equaliser for Homeboyz but his 35th long-range shot hit the crossbar as the match ended at 1-0 in favour of Sofapaka at the breather. 

The second half was full of action with Homeboyz strikers Allan Wanga and Solomon Otieno threatening Sofapaka’s defence time and again. Waruru completed his brace in the 67th minute after he headed home Asieche's corner kick. Homeboyz finished seventh on the log with 52 points.

Homeboyz striker Allan Wanga finished the season as the top scorer on 18 goals.

At Moi Stadium, Western Stima and AFC Leopards fought to a barren draw with both sides missing out on the top eight position. Stima will be content with 12th spot while Leopards finished in the tenth position.

In Nakuru, Mount Kenya United handed Ulinzi Stars a walk-over their third this season after the match was called off after the former arrived late on the pitch.

Results

Tusker 2-1 Posta Rangers, Gor Mahia 2-2 Mathare United, Nzoia, Kariobangi Sharks 4-0 Vihiga United, KCB 2-2 Zoo Kericho, Sofapaka 2-0 Kakamega Homeboyz, Nzoa 2-2 Bandari and Chemelil Sugar 1-0 Sony.

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