NAIROBI, Kenya- In a weekend that saw champions Gor Mahia FC go five points clear at the top of the 2018 Kenya Premier League (KPL) table, four barren draws and 17 goals scored, there were plenty of players who stood out from the sixth round of matches.
Though they cannot all make it into the final 11, SportPesa News picks out the best of the best to feature in the team of the week.
In goal, a familiar team but this time it’s a different custodian as Shaban Odhoji was given the nod ahead of rested number one Boniface Oluoch. Odhoji proved why he is worthy of a starting place in Dylan Kerr’s team as he pulled off superb saves in Gor’s 1-0 victory over Nzoia Sugar FC on Sunday.
His ability to pick out a pass from the back and his command of his back-line were exemplary as well.
Sammy Meja of Thika United FC becomes the first defender in the team of the week after his heroic exploits to keep out 2016 champions Tusker FC in their Saturday league fixture. Meja was instrumental with his hard tackling and calmness each time to clear the danger for the milkmen.
With captain Harun Shakava rested for the Nzoia clash, Charles Momanyi was partnered with Joachim Oluoch in the central defensive role. Momanyi’s aggressiveness and willingness to commit to tackles was a key factor as Gor collected maximum points to go five points clear at the KPL summit.
Though they played out to a barren draw against Sofapaka FC, Kariobangi Sharks put on a brave performance and full-back Michael Bodo was at the top of the bravado list. His pace and agility going forward was key in almost all the chances that Sharks created from the wings and his determination has enabled him to make the SportPesa News team of the week for a second time.
A defender who is becoming a regular in the team of the week is Chemelil Sugar FC defender Yussuf Juma. The sugar millers rise to second place has Juma written all over it. Despite a collective team effort to win three of the first six matches, Juma has been a force to reckon with, making it difficult for any opponent to get past him.
Mathare United FC were finally handed their first loss in the infant KPL season, going down 4-3 to AFC Leopards SC in a seven-goal thriller on Saturday. Cliff Nyakeya was the most outstanding player in the slum boys squad, bagging a brace to take his total tally for the season to four goals, further cementing the fact that the youngster can only get better.
Duncan Otieno on the other hand proved as pivotal as a captain should be in the fixture. His sharpness, ball control ability and his goal helped Ingwe come back from a two-goal deficit and win the game taking them up to fifth place with 10 points and a second consecutive win under the tutelage of caretaker coach Dennis Kitambi.
There are plenty of rumors stating that Bandari FC midfielder David King’atua is set to leave for greener pastures abroad. The speedy winger came off the bench in Sunday’s 3-0 hammering of Sony Sugar FC and made it clear once again that he is an integral part of the dockers side, grabbing the third goal ensuring maximum points for Ken Odhiambo’s side.
Gor Mahia FC have practiced more squad rotation in the opening fixtures of the KPL season than they had to the entire 2017 season. This has helped with the hectic schedule they have to deal with, including CAF Champions League fixtures.
Part of the rotation over the weekend saw Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi take over the captains armband from rested Shakava against Nzoia. His presence in the opponents danger area proved difficult to contain and his efforts were rewarded with the only goal of the game.
In a week that saw teenage sensation Anthony Wambani receive the player of the month award for the month of February, Bandari FC carried on with the same winning attitude in a 3-0 demolition of Salim Babu’s Sony. Ugandan forward William Wadri, who was making his first start for the dockers, bagged a brace worthy of an ovation.
The final inclusion into the SportPesa News team of the week, undoubtedly was the overall best performer throughout the weekend’s fixtures.
Phillip Muchuma took it upon himself to bring his team back from a goal down against retailers Nakumatt FC with a superb hat-trick, ensuring Chemelil Sugar FC won the game 4-1 and shot up to second-place in the competitive KPL table.
SportPesa News Team of the Week:
Goalkeeper: Shaban Odhoji (Gor Mahia)
Defenders: Yussuf Juma (Chemelil Sugar) Michael Bodo (Kariobangi Sharks) Charles Momanyi (Gor Mahia) Sammy Meja (Thika United)
Midfielders: Duncan Otieno (AFC Leopards) Cliff Nyakeya (Mathare United) David King’atua (Bandari)
Forwards: William Wadri (Bandari) Kevin ‘Ade’ Omondi (Gor Mahia) Phillip Muchuma (Chemelil Sugar)