SPL Round 17: Here Is The SportPesa News Team Of The Week

Mar 11 - by Louis Kalinga for SportPesa News

The biggest winners of the weekend were Sofapaka FC, who thrashed Chemelil Sugar FC 3-0 to move up to third

KCB FC players in action during their SportPesa Premier League match against AFC Leopards SC at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Saturday, January 12, 2019. The bankers won the match 1-0. PHOTO/SPN

  • Last season’s runners-up Bandari FC suffered only their second defeat of the 2018/19 SportPesa Premier League (SPL) campaign at the hands of Ulinzi Stars FC on Sunday but held on to top spot after round 17
  • Joint SPL top scorer Enosh Ochieng’ and Ezekiel Okare were on target for Ulinzi Stars FC as they battled to a 2-1 victory over the Bernard Mwalala side at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru
  • The dockers remain a point ahead of Mathare United FC, who also stumbled and missed the chance to go to the summit of the standings after playing out to a barren draw with sixth-placed Western Stima FC

NAIROBI, Kenya- Last season’s runners-up Bandari FC suffered only their second defeat of the 2018/19 SportPesa Premier League (SPL) campaign at the hands of Ulinzi Stars FC on Sunday but held on to top spot after round 17 of the increasingly tight top division.

Joint SPL top scorer Enosh Ochieng’ and Ezekiel Okare were on target for Ulinzi as they battled to a 2-1 victory over the Bernard Mwalala side at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.

The Dockers (32) remain a point ahead of Mathare United FC, who also stumbled and missed the chance to take over at the summit after playing out to a barren draw with sixth-placed Western Stima FC (26).

The biggest winners of the weekend were Sofapaka FC (30), who thrashed Chemelil Sugar FC 3-0 to move up to third, making the race for top honors this season even tighter as they seek a second title to add to their 2009 success.

Ten-man AFC Leopards SC (16) shocked high-flying Tusker FC (22) 2-1 at the Kenyatta Stadium on Saturday to pull even further away from the relegation zone in 14th place. It was a cruel blow to the Brewers who earlier in the week announced they had withdrawn from the 2019 FKF/SportPesa Shield to focus on reclaiming the title.

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Following the conclusion of round 17 in the SPL, SportPesa News looks at the top performers in the team of the week.

Despite a barren draw against Posta Rangers FC, Kenyan international Brian Bwire makes the team for his heroics for Kariobangi Sharks FC earning them a valuable point.

Bwire made two great saves in the first half and added another in the dying moments to ensure that the William Muluya side kept a clean sheet and stayed in touch with the front runners in fifth (26).

Newcomers Kenya Commercial Bank FC (KCB) got back to winning ways with a convincing 2-0 victory over Nzoia Sugar FC in Machakos on Sunday.

Right-back Baraka Badi’s efforts throughout the encounter were key to the win achieved with a clean sheet to boot. Badi’s ability to read the game and make necessary interceptions coupled with pacy runs up and down the flank worked well to help the bankers.

Another KCB defender in Bethwel Warambo makes the team of the week for his opening goal on the road to another vital three points.

Warambo did well to rise higher than everyone else did in the box to head in an Eston Esiye cross to give them the lead and his exceptional defensive display at the back was noteworthy as well.

Hillary Echesa is the final defender for his shift in the impressive 3-0 Sofapaka victory.

Echesa, a dead ball specialist, threatened to break the deadlock early in the encounter and his pace proved a problem to the Chemelil attackers throughout the one-sided match.

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 Zoo FC may have fallen 2-1 at the hands of Vihiga United FC but the realization that they have a potential superstar in Danson Chetambe, will be a boost for the Mike Muiruri side.

The attacking midfielder displayed a never say die attitude and his efforts paid off late in the game as he got off the mark for the season with a consolation goal in the 86th minute.

Ezekiel Okare left it late to score what may prove to be a vital goal for Ulinzi’s season in what was a second win for them in their last five matches.

The speedy attacking midfielder was at the heart of every Ulinzi attack in the later stages of the game and his second goal since joining the soldiers could not have come at a better time.

The agility, pace and experience of Sofapaka’s Stephen Waruru seems to be proving necessary for the 2010 champions and that was clear this past weekend.

Waruru’s ability to pick out a pass was not his greatest strength in the Chemelil thrashing, rather the military man showed his capability to finish as well, getting his name on the scoresheet for the third time this season.

Mathare midfielder Kevin Kimani was unfortunate not to provide an assist for any of his teammates in the barren draw against Stima.

Kimani completed the most passes in the tense encounter and the numerous crosses he sent into the oppositions danger area failed to amount to anything as luck was not on the Slum Boys side.

Leopards foreign forward Wayi Yeka Tatuwe makes the team for the second successive week after he bagged yet another goal in the win against the brewers.

Wayi Yeka opened his account last week and added to it with a neat finish in Machakos. The DRC Congo-born forward is on course to becoming a favorite the Ingwe faithful if he can keep up his newly-found goal scoring form.

Sony have only lost once in their last five matches and will have Derrick Otanga to thank for the vital three points they garnered against bottom side Mt. Kenya United FC.

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Otanga did well to score the only goal of the game early in the second half and had the chance to double the advantage on the hour mark but was unfortunate not to.

Former Wazito FC forward Pistone Mutamba is the last entrant into the team after his exploits enabled him to bag a brace in the 3-0 win.

The Harambee Stars striker opened the scoring early in the eighth minute and closed the account for the day 40 minutes later, giving John Baraza a hard task in picking a forward as all of them seem to be in the mood for goals.

SPORTPESA NEWS TEAM OF THE WEEK

GOALKEEPER: Brian Bwire (Kariobangi Sharks FC)

DEFENDERS: Hillary Echesa (Sofapaka FC), Baraka Badi and Bethwel Warambo (KCB FC)

MIDFIELDERS: Ezekiel Okare (Ulinzi Stars), Danson Chetambe (Zoo FC), Stephen Waruru (Sofapaka FC), Kevin Kimani (Mathare United FC)

FORWARDS: Wayi Yeka Tatuwe (AFC Leopards), Derrick Otanga (Sony Sugar FC), Pistone Mutamba (Sofapaka FC)