NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 12 – The National Super League second leg kicks off on Wednesday with the hunt for the two automatic and one play-off Kenyan Premier League promotion slots intensifying into the final 19 games of the campaign.
Leaders Ushuru FC, second placed Nairobi Stima, Wazito and Kisumu All Stars who are the leading candidates for the three slots will all be in action, each hoping to keep their bid on track.
The taxmen have been in this familiar position over the last three seasons but in all occasions have dropped the pot at the doorstep when it mattered most and lost their promotion bid.
They lead the standings, albeit on goal difference as they are tied on 41 points with both Nairobi Stima and Wazito and will face lowly Migori Youth in Kisii looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 1-0 loss over Kenya Police.
Migori are placed 17th with a meagre 12 points and have only won once over their last five games and just two in 19. Ushuru will be the straightforward favorites in the 3pm kick off especially as they have never lost against the south Nyanza side, winning 1-0 in the first leg.
In Nairobi, Wazito FC under pressure from their millionaire owner to ensure a return to top flight will be taking on Nairobi City Stars in the earliest kick off at 11am at the Camp Toyoyo.
Assistant coach Fred Ambani will continue taking charge of the team with the search for a new head coach dragging on.
Capital Sports understands the club has already settled on former Harambee Stars coach Stanley Okumbi to take over after the sacking of Mohammed Mchulla, but the tactician is yet to put pen to paper hence the delay in naming him.
But that will not be an excuse when the side looks to pounce on any slips by Ushuru and second placed Nairobi Stima as victory will see them scale up top if the two drop points.
Just this week, the club has signed the Tusker FC duo of defender Lloyd Wahome and midfielder Amos Asembeka to bolster their promotion bid and the two are set to be thrown straight into it against City Stars.
“They have trained well over the past two days and for sure they will be starters. They bring in a wealth of experience and I hope they can replicate what I have seen in training inside the game. I believe they will play a big role in our promotion bid,” Ambani said.
He expects a tough duel against the mid-table City Stars but believes the push of getting to the top of the table will be enough to spur them into a positive result.
“It will be a very tough game because there’s always some sense of rivalry between us and City Stars. We have our targets and focus is on remaining at the top so that for us is motivation enough,” Ambani noted.
The club will miss the services of Ghanaian Patrick Acquah and Anthony Gathu through injury, but Ambani is comfortable knowing the club has enough depth to cover.
Meanwhile, second placed Nairobi Stima under the stewardship of former Bandari and Tusker assistant coach George Owoko will be at home in Naivasha taking on eight placed Bidco whose four-match winning streak was put to a halt by Administration Police last weekend.
Stima look solid to hunt for promotion and are the only unbeaten side in the NSL so far this season having won 11 of their 19 fixtures and drawn 8. Over the last five, they have won four and drawn one and will be keen to ensure that run remains intact.
NSL midweek fixtures
Migori Youth vs Ushuru (Awendo Stadium, 3pm)
Green Commandos vs Modern Coast Rangers (Bukhungu Stadium, 12:00pm)
Wazito vs Nairobi City Stars (Camp Toyoyo, 11am)
Administration Police vs Kisumu All Stars (Camp Toyoyo, 2pm)
Kibera Black Stars vs Kangemi All-Stars (Camp Toyoyo, 4:15pm)
Fortune Sacco vs Kenya Police (Thika Stadium, 1pm)
Thika United vs Coast Stima (Thika Stadium, 3pm)
Shabana vs St. Joseph’s Youth (Gusii Stadium, 3pm)
Eldoret Youth vs FC Talanta (Eldoret Polytechnic, 3pm)
Nairobi Stima vs Bidco United (Karuturi Grounds, 3pm)
The post KPL promo hunt on as NSL second leg starts appeared first on Capital Sports.