By Joel Odidi
With a match left, Universities and Colleges Football League (UCFL) defending champions Zetech College are sure of keeping their trophy.
Zetech, who needed only a draw to retain the colleges league title, got just that when they played to a barren draw against hard fighting hosts National Youth Service (NYS-Nairobi Holding Unit) at the weekend.
The champions have unassailable 48 points, followed by Kenya Institute of Professional Studies (Kips) on 41 points but with two matches at hand. Nairobi Aviation College are third with 38 points.
This means that Zetech’s fixture against Inoorero University this weekend may just be a mere formality, having bagged the title for the second year running.
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But hosts NYS Nairobi Holding Unit, who needed a respectable finish in the league, got another point after they played to another barren draw against Kips.
“We are going into our last league match against Inoorero University as champions. Our mission this weekend is to go and display good football. Only a draw stood against us and the title as at last weekend and I’m glad my boys got just that,” Zetech coach Maurice Onyango told FeverPitch.
Onyango, however, said they will not rest in their laurels as he predicts a stiff opposition next season.
“We have retained the title, but not without stiff opposition from Kips whose pressure made us strive to stay at the top of the league. Unless we work hard next season, things might be different as UCFL is becoming more competitive and many universities and colleges will be coming in with a mission to topple us from the top spot. We will stop at nothing to ensure the trophy remains at Zetech cabinet,” added Onyango.
“I must thank my boys for a job well done, besides, the college administration gave us the much needed support and here we are as champions again,” said Onyango at NYS National Holding Unit at Ruaraka at the weekend.
TWO TOUGH MATCHES
NYS Nairobi Holding Unit coach Harrison Oduya said: “We knew we had two tough matches against two top sides in the league and we had to work hard to salvage points.”
“The presence of NYS-NHU Commanding Officer Julius Karanja boosted the boys’ morale during the matches,” added Oduya.
Kips tactician Patrick Orwako, who praised Zetech for their feat, promised to wrestle the title from their hands next season.
“I congratulate the champions for maintaining their clean record. However, we promise to give them stiff opposition next season. We maintained an unbeaten run throughout the first leg, but we lost the momentum in the second leg due to fatigue,” Orwako told FeverPitch yesterday.
“We entered the league in September and had to play two matches every weekend as other teams played one each. This put a lot of pressure on my boys, but I’m glad we will finish the league as runners up after a hard work,” added Orwako.
During the weekend, Kenya Polytechnic University College hit Nairobi Institute of Business Studies (Nairobi Campus) 1-0 as Kips held Nairobi Aviation College to a 1-1 draw.
Hosts NYS-Nairobi Holding Unit later held Kips to a barren draw as Kabete Technical Training Institute beat NYS- Vocational Training Institute 2-1 .