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Shuddering close to an epic Kenya Premier League season as Gor Mahia to be crowned record 21-time champions

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Gor Mahia players celebrate their FKF Premier League win against Nairobi City Stars at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on February 17.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

The 2023/24 Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKF-PL) comes to a shuddering end today.

Gor Mahia may have secured the title with three games to spare and will be officially crowned kings of Kenyan football, but there is still a lot to play for before eight whistles in the eight fixtures today are blown a final time.
Sunday Nation takes a look at the battle zones and what is at stake.

Gor Mahia fans celebrate Austin Odhiambo's goal during their Football Kenya Federation Premier League match against Bandari at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on December 22, 2023.

Photo credit: Chris Omollo | Nation Media Group

Automatic relegation
Muhoroni Youth at position 17 and Sofapaka at 16th are fighting to avoid finishing in the direct relegation zone.
Muhoroni Youth, against all predictions, crushed Nzoia Sugar 6-0 at Mumias Complex on Wednesday to keep alive their slim chances of staying in the fight to remain in the top-flight football post-season.
The huge win came with claims of match-fixing which Muhoroni Team Manager Moses Nyalik dismissed outright.
A win against Posta Rangers at their Muhoroni backyard may not be enough if Sofapaka also take a victory.
Muhoroni beat Posta Rangers 1-0 in the first leg on December 17.
"We have prepared for the game well and we shall fight to score as many goals as we did against Nzoia," said Nyalik.
Sofapaka are faced with the stark danger of being relegated from FKF-PL for the first time since their maiden appearance in 2009 where they went on to win the title.
Batoto ba Mungu” will play the already relegated Nzoia Sugar at Dandora Stadium in Kakamega. Having garnered 33 points, they need a win to at least guarantee a play-off spot. They could also secure their Premiership status if they win and 15th placed Shabana, on 35 points, lose.
Sofapaka beat Nzoia Sugar 3-1 in the first leg.

Promotion play-off
Shabana (35 points) are so close yet so far from safety. They must beat Murang’a Seal at SportPesa Arena in Murang’a County to avoid the playoffs.
Shabana though can still afford to lose so long as Sofapaka also lose.

Golden Boot
The race for the Golden Boot is as tight as they come with Gor Mahia’s lethal striker Benson Omala leading the pack on 17 goals.
Kenya Police’s Tito Okello and Kariobangi Sharks marksman Johnmark Makwata follow him on 16 and 15 goals respectively.
Omala has netted 15 goals from open play and two from penalty kicks while South Sudan international Okello has netted three penalties.
Red-hot Makwata, who joined Sharks in the January/ February transfer window, has one penalty goal in his account.
Gor play Bidco United at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos where they will be handed their 21st title.
Police and Sharks will face off at Police Sacco Stadium as Okello and Makwatta collide.
“I want to finish the season with the Golden Boot award since I missed it narrowly last season. So the last game of the season is very important to help me win this individual award. I know my competitors want it. I have to score,” said Omala.

Top five
There is no financial incentive but just pride to finish at this end of the table
With Tusker (second on 62 points) and Kenya Police (third on 56 points) secure in their positions, Nairobi City Stars (50 points), Bandari (49 points), AFC Leopards (48 points), Kakamega Homeboyz (48 points), Kariobangi Sharks (47 points) and Posta Rangers (47 points) all have a chance to finish in top five.
The focus will be on 12-time champions AFC Leopards whose coach Tomas Trucha had indicated he wants at least a fifth-position finish.
Fancied Ingwe will clash with faded four-time champions Ulinzi Stars at Ulinzi Sports Complex.
Leopards have won three out of the last four fixtures against the soldiers.

Individual Accolades
Gor Mahia’s custodian Kevin Omondi leads the league with 12 clean sheets. No doubt he would not mind extending that to 13.
Gor Mahia midfielder Austin Odhiambo, with a haul of 12 goals and 20 assists, will want to sign off the season with another outstanding performance and lay claim to the league MVP award.
Other players with a shout for MVP are Omala (Gor Mahia), Okello and the Tusker duo of Chris Erambo and Michael Kibwage, with Kenya Police midfielder Kenneth Muguna also looking in.