Kenya Bandari cut Gor Mahia lead at the FKF summit to seven points

Bandari FC head coach John Baraza believes the race for the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League was blown wide open following their 1-0 victory against champions Gor Mahia at Mbaraki Sports Club on Saturday.

The Dockers became the second team to beat K’Ogalo in the top-flight this season after striker Fidel Origa scored in the 40th minute off a cross from Shashiri Nahimana and stunned the table leaders. The victory saw Bandari move to the second position of the 18-team table with 43 points, seven less than Gor Mahia, who have accumulated 50, with 10 matches remaining to conclude the campaign.

Gor Mahia’s first defeat came in a 3-1 outcome against Kenya Police on February 3 and according to Baraza, the title race remained wide open following their latest success and that the Coastal-based side will fight K’Ogalo until the last match of the campaign.

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“It was a tight game against the defending champions and the current league leaders (the best team in the country), so to get three points from them is a plus to us and it shows we can still catch up with them, the win has opened up the title race, to me the race is wide open, we can still catch up and we will continue to fight until the end,” explained Baraza after the game.

Bandari have now won 13 matches, drawn four, and lost seven while Gor Mahia have secured 14 wins, eight draws, and suffered two defeats from 24 matches. Meanwhile, Shabana’s push to keep their status in the league suffered another blow after going down 3-2 against KCB at Machakos Stadium.

Derrick Otanga put the Bankers ahead from the penalty spot before Philemon Nyakwaka doubled their scoreline for a 2-0 result at the half-time break. Otanga then scored to make it 3-0 before Tore Bobe launched a comeback with goals from Brian Magire and Farouk Shikhalo but it was not enough as KCB held to carry the day.

The win saw the Bankers end their eight-game winless run in the league, having last enjoyed success on December 16 – 2-1 against Kenya Police – and move to ninth on the table with 33 points. The defeat left Shabana rooted second from the bottom with 18 points and with 10 games remaining, coach Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo is confident they will not be relegated. “It was a difficult defeat to take, the first goal was a clear mistake from the referee because that was not a penalty, it killed the morale of my players and before they recovered we were already 2-0 down,” said Omollo.

He added: “We then had to start chasing in the game, and they went 3-0 up making it tough for us but in the closing stages, we played very well, we took the game to KCB and got the two goals, we could have nicked something from the game had we scored our chances but we will keep fighting, we still have a good chance to stay up.”

Elsewhere, Sofapaka found it rough going down 2-1 against Bidco United while Nairobi City Stars gave away a goal in the closing stages to draw 1-1 against Bidco United.


Dennis Mabuka

Dennis Mabuka is a seasoned Kenyan journalist with 18 years of experience covering sports events. He is currently a sport content creator with en.Africatopsports.com.

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