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Ulinzi Stars marksman Stephen Waruru has been crowned Sportpesa Player of the Month for April. The 26 year-old trounced Posta Rangers goalkeeper Patrick Matasi is a run-off vote to become the soldiers second ever recipient of the gong after John Makwata who won in 2015.

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The first ever Kenyan Premier League match to be held at the famous Camp Toyoyo artificial turf in Jericho estate ended barren as the two protagonists, Sofapaka and Kakamega Homeboyz kept the crowd entertained but there was no goal excitement.

Hosts Sofapaka opted to play the match at the famous Grounds and it could have been a perfect choice had they converted a string of chances that came their way.

Visiting keeper David Juma was in inspired form for Homeboyz as he used all manner of reflexes in his books to keep his side in the game. The evergreen Moses 'Dube' Odhiambo was Sofapaka's most dangerous player but Juma was Homeboyz's savior and he must have felt he won the battle. 

On the occasion when Juma was beaten by Odhiambo, fullback Athman Buki was on hand to make a goal line clearance during the early embers of the second half. 

The two sides would share the point with Sofapaka third on 11 points and Homeboyz 5 points and 9 places adrift in 12th.

Muhoroni, Nakumatt Victorious

Meanwhile Muhoroni Youth moved off the bottom two with a stunning 2-0 win over Sony Sugar. Two first half goals from Robert Ouma and Bliss Kityo gave the hosts victory that steered them to 10th from 17th, level on 7 points with Sony Sugar.

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Nakumatt FC also registered the same scoreline victory over Western Stima with a goal either half from Kepha Aswani and captain Peter Nzuki.

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Struggling AFC Leopards are clinging on a straw as they try to hold onto their key players ahead of a grueling second leg of the season.

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Promoted side Zoo Kericho picked their first point since beginning their maiden topflight campaign as they held hosts Nzoia United 1-1 at Sudi Stadium, Bungoma.

The popular Zoo had lost their opening six matches as they made the trip to Western Kenya which proved fairly satisfying as they finally got off the mark.

When Lawrence Juma netted his second goal of the season for Nzoia halfway into the first half, it seemed the losing script for Zoo would be repeated.

However, the much sung Mike Madoya pulled his side level 10 minutes later in what proved to be the last goal of the match. Nzoia pushed for the winner but Zoo held against their own to pick a point that should spur them on as they try to get off the bottom position which has been their home since matchday 2.

Rangers match on

Meanwhile on the other end of the table, unbeatan Posta Rangers took the full points against Kariobangi Sharks as they dislodged Gor Mahia from the top.

Sammy 'Pumzo' Omollo's side did their job as early as the first half when Joseph Mbugi slotted home a penalty after Pascal Ogweno had handled a goal-bound effort from Dennis Mukaisi in the 40th minute.

Ogweno was sent off for his troubles despite leading the protest which also saw him grab the red card from the referee's hands and toss it away. The fourth official traced it back.

The one-man disadvantage however didn't get Sharks panicking as they kept on pouring forward with Ellie Asieche seeing his effort cleared on the goal line by Posta captain Jockins Atudo.

The mailman would hold on though to celebrate their third win on the trot while Sharks were held back after victory over Nakumatt FC last time out.

In other matches, Sofapaka and Kakamega Homeboyz shared a barren stalemate, same result registered between Gor Mahia and Tusker FC while Muhoroni Youth stunned visiting Sony Sugar 2-0. 

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Nzoia Sugar’s  Brian Otieno is the March Sportpesa Footballer of the Month. Otieno netted a brace in the Nzoia Sugar opening day 5-2 rout of holders Tusker then staged a remarkable show against Mathare United in their scoreless draw to emerge the month's best.

The 21 year-old became the first winner of the award in 2017 and carried home a 49 inch LG Smart television and Sh100000 alongside a personalized trophy. He also became the third defender to win the award after initial triumphs by Karim Nzigiyimana of Gor Mahia and Sherif Mohammed of Bandari.

Gor Mahia duo Kenneth Muguna and Geoffrey Walusimbi made the final shortlist from an initial list of nine players nominated by football journalists.

They however fell short of the necessary votes to land the gong as Otieno garnered 17 votes to join a privileged few who have won the award since inception in 2015. Walusimbi polled 14 while Muguna placed third on 11 votes. Other players who were nominated for the award but fell short included Moses Odhiambo of Sofapaka, Thika United defender Christopher Oruchum, Jean Baptiste Mugiraneza of Gor Mahia and Ovella Ochieng of Kariobangi Sharks.

Nzoia Sugar led the standings after the first weekend of action but ended up 2nd on the table with four points at the close of March. The result against league defending champions left tongues wagging among fans and Nzoia Sugar a marked club by fellow top-flight teams.

The going has been anything but easy for the newbies but the team hopes to fight elation from Otieno's triumph in their bid to stay up. "I'm very excited at being awarded. It's the first time i'm getting something like this and frankly i'm overjoyed. I dedicate it to my teammates without whom i would not have won it. Our results have not been the best since then but hopefully we shall get back to winning ways." Otieno offered in his laid back demeanor

Nzoia assistant coach Vincent Sifuma heaped praises on the young striker saying he is destined to greater things. "He is new to the league but he's already made a mark He is capable of developing into a better player who can achieve a lot. I hope the award stirs up the rest so they put more effort." Mwalala said

 

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Tusker FC were reduced to 10 men and then had to overcome incessant onslaught from their hosts Gor Mahia as the two Kenyan Premier League top dogs settled for a barren stalemate in their round 6 clash at a soggy Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.

Midfielder Hashim Sempala was sent for early showers for a second bookable offence as one of the Brewers finally succumbed to pressure from their hosts.

His exit just served to fuel the Kogalo attacks that were increasing in numbers as the minutes tick tocked away.

Meddie Kagere and Kenneth Muguna both hit the crossbar with their headers thereafter as Tusker rode their luck towards the closing stages.

The game kicked off just moments after the heavens had opened as the rain came down with hunger. Tusker, searching for only their second win of the new campaign, looked slightly more comfortable as they somehow got the ball rolling on the drenched surface as Kogalo took a military, Jockins Atudo-esque style with the defenders punting every ball forward with hope that the opposition might slip and let the attackers in.

An uneventful opening half ended with neither of the keepers being forced to make a save. The second half was better as both teams found spaces to operate but the pitch was still an opponent.

Chances were predictably few and far between as Tusker threatened through freekicks riffled towards Boniface Oluoch with utmost power courtesy of Collins Shivachi. Shafik Batambuze looked almost as dangerous with his deliveries but the Kogalo backline stood firm.

On the other end, Brewers keeper Duncan Ochieng was being kept busy especially after the hour mark. Kogalo were already adventurous when Sempala was sent off but the dismissal of the Ugandan midfielder made the hosts even more potent.

Substitute Timothy Otieno almost made the perfect entrance when he connected to a Godfrey Walusimbi cross but his header went straight at Ochieng. Another substitute, Innocent Wafula, replacing Karim Nizigiyimana was lively with darting runs down the left and created a chance for Kagere who hit the bar.

Muguna also had his hands buried on his head after his flicked header hit the crossbar.

The result sees Gor Mahia surrender top spot to Posta Rangers who earlier on pipped Kariobangi Sharks 1-0 at the same venue.

In other matches on the day, Nakumatt FC move to the top half of the log with a 2-0 victory over visiting Western Stima while Sofapaka are third after a barren stalemate against Kakamega Homebozy.

Muhoroni Youth collected a 2-0 home victory over Sony Sugar while Zoo Kericho collected their first point in the topflight after holding fellow promoted side Nzoia Sugar to a 1-1 draw.

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