By Kevin Otieno
The most vital questions might have already been answered in the 2018 National Super League (NSL) which reaches its final destination this Saturday (13) but there remains one final one: who, between Ushuru FC and Nairobi Stima, will nick a promotion/relegation play-off spot against Nakumatt FC.
Western Stima were confirmed champions with games to spare as they earned an immediate topflight return alongside KCB FC who joined the party last weekend.
On the extreme end, relegation has already been confirmed for Nakuru All Stars, GFE 105, Migori Youth, and of course Muhoroni Youth.
Just one spot remains at stake; the playoff.
Who between Nairobi Stima and Ushuru FC will face Nakumatt to decide the final spot in the 2018/19 Kenyan Premier League season?
Only a superior goal difference in favor of third-placed Nairobi Stima puts them above Ushuru, both teams having amassed 68 points.
And on this final day, both teams will take to the pitch for probably the most important clashes of their season in the second tier division.
Stima, who will be playing away to KCB, have more to prove, given that they occupied the second automatic qualification spot for quite some time before shock slip-ups late on saw KCB mount a winning run and take the second automatic promotion spot.
Stima were especially let down by a shock defeat to then relegation contenders GFE 105 which was followed by a streak of just one win in five matches, a form that saw the Powermen relinquish second spot to unrelenting and perhaps more focussed and seemingly hungrier KCB, who won their last six matches.
In a way, Stima will have themselves to blame should they not get the win that will put them up for consideration to dine alongside the big boys. A head-to-head glance at these two matches shows Nairobi Stima have the edge with two wins and one loss.
On the other hand, Ushuru are looking for a chance to make the playoffs for a second consecutive year having done so against Thika United who won on aggregate scores.
Ken Kenyatta’s men face off against Bidco in Machakos. Just like the powermen’s rival KCB, Bidco have nothing to lose or gain should they lose or win this match. But no competitor wants to end the season on the low so complacency for Ushuru should be the last thing, otherwise their dream for a come back to the Kenyan top tier will be over even before the prematch is conducted.
Ushuru FC have never lost to the Thika-based Bidco, and this last match should not be any different.
So come the last day, it’s a game of points and goals for the two sides hoping to make the last spot in the Kenya Premier League.
Ushuru’s best chance will be winning their match and hoping Stima fall or draw with KCB. They also have the near impossible task of culling back a -5 goal difference on Stima.
The permutations don’t seem to favor Ushuru, but will they somehow get a final hurray?
Let’s wait and see.