Shabana earn stay of execution in the NSL
Former top flight giants Shabana FC earned a stay of execution as the race to finish second in the National Super League (NSL) tightened following the weekend round of fixtures.
Basement side Shabana won their fourth match of the season with a 3-2 victory on the road against Nakuru All Stars to keep their slim survival hopes in the second-tier alive after the sides just above them on the NSL log- St. Joseph’s FC and Ligi Ndogo both lost.
Champions Nzoia United rolled on to their 27th win of the campaign when they silenced Oserian FC 2-0 to scale up to 88 points but the battle to finish behind them is heading down to the wire.
Kariobangi Sharks (74), Zoo Kericho (72) and Nakumatt FC (71) all collected maximum points to keep their hot pursuit for second place going with three points separating the second and fourth teams with three games to go.
KCB FC (69) in fifth kept their late surge for promotion on course with beating St. Joseph’s 2-1 on Saturday to jump above Vihiga United (64) who stumbled in a 2-2 home draw against Agro Chemicals (46) who remain 10th.
Shabana would have been relegated had they lost on Sunday and fell behind to a Daniel Kamau goal a minute after the break before Bruno Sserunkuma hauled the Gusii-based side level two minutes later.
All Stars went ahead through Elvis Rupia but late goals from Moses Kabaya (81’) and Felix Tindi on the stroke of full time capped a breathtaking second half in favour of Shabana who improved to 16 points and face Nakumatt next.
“Our hopes of playing in the NSL next season are 50-50. To survive, it means we win our remaining three matches and hope that Ligi Ndogo and St. Joseph who continue to struggle,” Shabana FC team manager Peter Omwando said on Monday.
Ligi Ndogo on 21 lost 1-0 to 11th-placed Wazito FC (45) to draw them closer to the relegation trap door with St. Joseph remaining stuck at 25 following their reverse to the Bankers.
Rodgers Omondi notched the winner in the 50th as Sharks remained on pole to finish second in the NSL with their 1-0 home victory over Palos FC with Zoo and Nakumatt keeping up the pressure by Mosca 3-0 and Bidco United 3-1 in that order.
Nicholas Kipkurui struck the first goal in the 26th before Isaac Kipyegon and Geoffrey Gichana sealed the comprehensive victory for Zoo in the 20th and 72nd minutes and their team manager, Lazarus Yongo is optimistic his side will push to the end of the NSL season.
“We are not concentrating on our immediate rivals but aiming to win our remaining matches. If we finish the league in the second position, it will be better for us,” the official added.
“We believe we will also win the remaining three games as the squad remains the same since we don’t have any injury per now. Our match with Shabana will be tricky, since they are struggling to escape from relegation,” Albert Wesonga the Nakumatt Team Manager added.