The Star (Nairobi)

26 February 2013

Kenya: KCB Set the Pace

A familiar start for KCB to a Kenyan Premier League ended with them drubbing Nairobi City Stars 4-0 to begin their Kenya premier League season at the top of the standings.

However, the big question is whether the bankers will this time round be consistent enough at the very least to challenge for a top eight finish at in the league.

Poor finish to the season has cost the club two coaches Leonard Saleh and James Odijo Omondi in the last two season and the new man at the helm, Juma Abdalla was categorical that under his watch a new era had dawned.

"There is totally different attitude among the players. Everyone is working hard to prove that we are one of the teams to beat and I can promise you to expect such kind of results even in the second leg," promised Abdalla.

Just like last season when he took his goal tally to five goals in four appearances before fading and finally finishing with a meager six goals to the season, Clifford Alwanga struck twice with further goals from captain Benedict Owuor and Jacob Keli to consign City stars to the bottom of the table in the opening league weekend.

Marching KCB's blistering start was new boys Kakamega Homeboyz who kicked off their debut season in the top flight league with a 3-1 win over Karuturi Sports. The man who spearheaded their promotion Dennis Mukaisi (a cousin to the former Tusker player with a similar name), helped himself to a brace with Paul Odhaimbo scoring the other goal to inflict the defeat on Michael Nam's flowermen.

Title contenders Sofapaka and Ulinzi Stars--all had to work hard to register 1-0 victories over their opponents to get three points. Harambee stars defender Eugene Asike showed quick reaction to bundle home the all important goal as David Ouma's charges pipped Thika United at City stadium.

Ulinzi also won courtesy of a Wycliffe Ochomo strike that left Coast-based Bandari beaten on their return to top flight football.

AFC Leopards gave a less than expected delivery as they had to dig deep to hold Chemelil Sugar to a 1-1 draw. Tom Olaba's men will feel that it was two points dropped even early in the season despite playing much for the second half with ten men following the dismissal of Mike Barasa. New acquisition Noah Abich who came on for Edwin Wafula scored from the spot in the 87th minute to cancel out Jared Obwuoge's opener for Chemelil.

Muhoroni Youth were also winners beating Western Stima 2-0 with strikes from Kevin Omondi and Geoffrey Simiyu who was returning to the club, where he scored six goals last season after a brief and unsuccessful six months stint with Sony Sugar. Sony Sugar and Mathare United also got their first points, thanks to their goal-less draw in Awendo.

KPL champions Tusker and last year's runners-up Gor Mahia were not in action in the league as they took part in the season curtain raiser SuperSport Dstv Super Cup won 5-4 on post match penalties by Zdravko

Logarusic's men. The two teams will get their campaigns underway when they face off on March 6.

2013 KPL STANDING

M W D L GF GA GD PT

1. KCB 1 1 0 0 4 0 4 3

2. Homeboyz 1 1 0 0 3 1 2 3

3. Muhoroni 1 1 0 0 2 0 2 3

4. Ulinzi 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3

5. Sofapaka 1 1 0 0 1 0 1 3

6. Leopards 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1

7. Chemelil 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1

8. Sony Sugar 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1

9. Mathare Utd 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1

10. Gor Mahia 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

11. Tusker 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

12. Thika Utd 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0

13. Bandari 1 0 0 1 0 1 -1 0

14. Karuturi 1 0 0 1 1 3 -2 0

15. W. Stima 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0

16. Nairobi City 1 0 0 1 0 4 -4 0

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