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How Vihiga United dashed All Stars Premier League hopes

FOOTBALL By Washington Onyango | November 6th 2020
Vihiga United players celebrate at Moi Stadium in Kisumu on November 04,2020 after winning against Kisumu All Stars that promoted them to Premier League.(Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

Coach Okoth said they rectified the mistakes they committed in the first leg

Vihiga rallied to earn promotion despite trailing 2-1 from the first leg

Vihiga United ended Kisumu All Stars’ Football Kenya Federation-Premier League (FKF-PL) dreams after defeating them 5-3 on post-match penalties in the promotion playoffs.

Vihiga rallied to win the mid-week’s contest 2-1 at the Moi Stadium after losing the first leg 2-1 last weekend at the Mumias Sports Complex to level the scores 3-3 on aggregate.

Patrick Okulo found the back of the net from the spot with the fifth kick to ensure Vihiga make an immediate return to the top flight just a season after going down.

Dennis Ombeva, Mike Esabwa, Juniour Adeyefa, Norman Werungah and Okulo were all successful from 12 yards for Vihiga United.

Willis Otenda missed All Stars’ second penalty but Gerishom Arabe, Mark Kwasira and Walter Oduor scored for the hosts, who are now relegated after a season in the top flight.

Vihiga United coach Sammy Okoth was elated, saying their tactics worked just like they planned.

In an interview with the Standard Sports, Okoth said playing high balls and conceding an early penalty cost them the game during the first leg, a mistake they rectified coming into the second leg.

Okoth said Kisumu were overconfident after their first leg win, forgetting they were still a strong force having won over 10 matches in the National Super League and were fighting for an automatic spot saying were it not for the coronavirus disruption they would have finished ahead of Bidco.

Vihiga United players and officials celebrate with their coach Sammy Okoth at Moi Stadium in Kisumu on November 04,2020 after winning against Kisumu All Stars that promoted them to Premier League.(Photo: Denish Ochieng/ Standard)

“In the first leg, we were disoriented by the penalty All Stars scored. Furthermore, the team panicked and we started playing long balls, a tactic that we have never used and that which Kisumu excelled in since they were dominating aerially,” Okoth said.

He said playing on the counter and using wingers and full backs opened the game for them in Kisumu since their opponents could not handle crosses into the box, a tactic that worked well for them in the second leg.

“In Kisumu, we sat back and waited for the opponent to attack and made them pay through counter attacks since they were making many mistakes when we were putting crosses into the box.”

“When you look at the first goal we scored it was as a result of a foul committed from our breakthrough from the flanks, similar to the penalty which they handled after failing to anticipate a cross from the wings,” Okoth added.

The victory was the first for a team from the National Super League (NSL) to win promotion to the top tier via the playoffs.

With the relegation of Kisumu All Stars, Nyanza will not have a club in the premier league after Chemelil Sugar and Sony Sugar were all relegated.

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