#Flashback2017: Promotion drama caps memorable NSL season
The 2017 National Super League (NSL) season will be remembered for serving one of the fiercest top flight promotion races in recent memory.
Unlike the previous year where the winner was a long gone conclusion thanks to Nzoia United’s peerless performances, this time there was no telling who would go and claim title with four clubs well and truly in contention even on final day.
Vihiga United eventually clinched the title in dramatic fashion, winning only on goal difference with their win over Ushuru FC on the final day of the season ensuring they finished level on 80 points with Wazito FC.
That result proved to be damaging for Ushuru as their bid to earn promotion back into the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) after just one season collapsed.
It was a painful eventuality for Ken Kenyatta and his charges who had led largely the latter stages of the campaign having lost only four times and drawing eight of their 36 matches.
They would later get a second chance to redeem themselves via promotion playoffs but they lost 2-1 on aggregate to Thika United to surrender all hope.
Overall, Wazito who will make their maiden top flight appearance this coming season won 25 times, drew five times and were on the losing side on six occasions.
“Our focus is to stay for a long time in KPL and by recruiting more qua;lity players will help us achieve that,” head coach Frank Ouna after sealing promotion.
The battle to avoid relegation was equally interesting although MOSCA FC threw in the towel with couple of matches left before curtains fell on the second tier league leaving Administration Police and Agro Chemical to fight for their lives in NSL.
Eventually Agro Chemical’s heavy 3-0 defeat from Nakuru All Stars in the final day confirmed their relegation to Division One joining MOSCA who finished the league with only 15 points.
Agro Chemical finished the league with 28 points only three behind
Administration Police (31) who hit 2-0 past already relegated MOSCA in the final day.
MOSCA had been woeful almost all season, losing 26 times and registered only three wins and six draws.
The two relegated sides were replaced by Kangemi AllStars and history makers Kakamega High School who topped FKF Division One league.
Kangemi won the FKF Division One Zone A-League while Green Commabdoes clinched Zone B title to seal their places in the second top tier NSL.
Coast Stima FC defeated Timsales FC 1-0 in the Division One promotion playoff at the Camp Toyoyo Grounds to guarantee their place in NSL joining Kangemi and the Green Commandos.
Perhaps the saddest news for the NSL was the exit of one of its most exciting teams, Palos FC, who had finished eighth in the league before pulling out due to financial constraints.