By Steve Ayoo (@Steifmaster88)
Vihiga United emerged victorious in the winner-takes-all clash against Nakumatt FC as they retained their status in the Kenyan Premier League.
The County Government of Vihiga-funded side held their nerves to claim a 2-0 victory that ensured they avoided finishing third from bottom which would have earned them a relegation/promotion play-off match against the team that finishes third in the National Super League – likely to be either of Nairobi Stima and Ushuru FC.
Amos Kigadi’s goals have been behind Vihiga’s late onslaught to avoid the drop and he was on target again as he netted within five minutes at the Camp Toyoyo Grounds.
Mike Isabwa made the once looking mission impossible possible with the second after the hour mark before a resolute defensive display after the break ensured the victory and survival went to the visitors. As a matter of fact, they finished 12th, four places above the drop zone.
Nakumatt, who looked destined for an automatic drop at half season before a revival under Melis Medo, will have to face Stima or Ushuru in a two-legged play-off whose winner will be in the draw for the 2019 topflight season.
The defeat to Vihiga was also a welcome relief to Sammy Omollo’s Posta Rangers who got a point at Kakamega Homeboyz to secure safety, as well as to Chemelil Sugar who drew 1-1 with Kariobangi Sharks.
Season Finale Results:
Bandari 5-1 Thika United
Kakamega Homeboyz 0-0 Posta Rangers
AFC Leopards 0-2 Nzoia Sugar
Mathare Utd 1-1 Ulinzi Stars
Nakumatt 0-2 Vihiga United
Sony Sugar 3-0 Wazito
Tusker 1-0 Gor Mahia
Zoo Kericho 0-0 Sofapaka
Kariobangi Sharks 1-1 Chemelil Sugar