It was a weekend of mixed fortunes as round one of the 2020/2021 FKF-Premier League season kicked off over the weekend.
To some veterans, it was nothing but a bad outing, while to others, it marked a memorable start to the league.
While AFC Leopards coach Thomas Trucha and his Nairobi City Stars counterpart Sanjin Alagic made brilliant debuts by guiding their respective teams to victories, former Harambee Stars coach Francis Kimanzi, now coaching Wazito, was given a rude welcome by Kariobangi Sharks on his return to the dugout in the domestic scene. They lost 4-0.
Former champions AFC Leopards were also quick off the blocks as goals from Robinson Kamura and Elvis Rupia (penalty) inspired Ingwe to a 2-1 victory over Tusker at Kasarani on Saturday, before Anthony ‘Muki’ Kimani and Oliver Maloba’s goals helped City Stars beat visiting Nzoia Sugar 2-0 on their return to topflight football.
“There’s a great psychological importance in winning the first game of the season. It prepares you well and I am excited we achieved it against an experienced FKF-PL team,” said Nairobi City Stars coach Sanjin Alagic.
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And just like Kimanzi, former Kenyan international Sammy Okoth watched in disbelief as 10-man Vihiga United lost 1-0 to Kakamega Homeboyz in Mumias on their return to the Premier League.
It was also not a good start for John Baraza as Sofapaka lost 1-0 to hosts Bandari in Mombasa, while Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno’s KCB made a perfect start with a convincing 3-0 win against a lethargic Posta Rangers at Kasarani.
“We prepared well for the game knowing we were playing Sofapaka before the fixture was changed. But either way, we were ready for any team and the boys showed it on the pitch and I thank them for that,” said KCB coach Zedekiah Otieno.
Though debutantes Bidco United frustrated Western Stima to a barren draw in Kisumu, it is Sharks’ huge win over Wazito that remains the greatest shock of the opening round of the season.
The golden boot race also started on a high note with big hitters looking sharp in week one where a brace and several goals were scored.
Former player of the year and golden boot winner Eric Kapaito showed his early intentions to claim this season’s top scorer’s award by scoring twice and providing an assist in Sharks’ demolition of a disjointed Wazito.
Derrick Otanga scored and set up Henry Onyango and Enock Agwanda in KCB’s emphatic win against the mailmen.
Though he wasted several chances, another former Wazito man Elvis Rupia scored from the spot against Tusker to help Leopards make a perfect start to the campaign.
Davis Agesa delivered two assists in his full FKF-PL debut as City Stars saw off Nzoia Sugar 2-0 while Abdallah Hassan (Bandari) and David Odhiambo (Kakamega Homeboyz) kicked their season with a goal each for their respective clubs.
The FKF Premier League action is set to continue tomorrow with two matches on the card.