Bandari will be looking to retain their place at the helm of the Kenyan Premier League when they face Ulinzi Stars this weekend. The Saturday afternoon encounter will take place at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru County.
The Dockers participated in what was a potential title decider last weekend when they welcomed second placed Mathare United to the Mbaraki Sports Club. A match pitting first against second on the table should always be an end to end encounter that is destined to leave viewers at the edge of their seat.
Instead, the much awaited game proved to be a mindless non-event, as both sets of managers chose to go for a restrained approach rather than an adventurous one.
Although it was Bandari that began the day well, the visitors came closest to scoring in the 25th minute when Chris Ochieng fashioned two quick fire attempts after a goal melee ensured in the Bandari goalmouth; Faruk ‘Spiderman’ Shikhalo rescuing Bernard Mwalala’s side on the occasion with some impressive reflexes.
The script was quite similar for the Mombasa based club after the interval, as they created a number of goal scoring opportunities that they simply couldn’t grasp by the scuff of the neck. As such, the game inevitably petered out to a goalless draw which was a good enough result for the Slum Boys who have forced Bandari to a draw for the fourth successive time in the Kenyan Premier League matches.
Sharing the spoils means that Bandari head into Match Week 16 with a paltry two point lead at the top; nonetheless with a game to spare.
Ulinzi Stars were similarly forced to share the spoils, as they settled for a one-all draw with Posta Rangers on their trip to Machakos County last weekend. Posta Rangers stunned the Soldiers in the 34th minute through John Nairuka who came back to haunt his former side with a stunning lob past goalkeeper James Saruni for the opener.
Desperate for an immediate response, Dunstan Nyaudo’s charges intensified the pressure on Rangers; an effort that paid dividends fifteen minutes before the final whistle when Ibrahim Shambi equalized for the Soldiers with a powerful drive from 25 yards.
The draw leaves the 4-time KPL champions in the bottom half of the table in eleventh with eighteen points — a staggering fourteen points behind leaders Bandari.
Bandari have proven to be the most in-form team this season with just a single defeat in their opening 15 games of the season; registering nine wins and five draws in the process.
Four wins and two draws in their last six leaves Nyaudo’s side at a very good place against an Ulinzi outfit that has only won once in the last eight league games.
Prediction: Bandari to win at 5Dimes
Ulinzi Stars vs. Bandari recent results
Ulinzi Stars 0-0 Bandari (June 17, 2018)
Bandari 1-1 Ulinzi Stars (April 8, 2018)
William Wadri 24’
Masita Masuta 90+3’
Bandari 1-0 Ulinzi Stars (November 11, 2017)
Darius Msagha 47’
Ulinzi Stars 2-1 Bandari (June 17, 2017)
Geoffrey Kokoyo 1’
Enosh Ochieng 75’
Noah Abichi 44’ (P)
Ulinzi Stars 4-2 Bandari (November 19, 2016)
Boniface Onyango 8’
John Makwatta 16’
Enosh Ochieng 45+3’
John Makwatta 82’
David Kingarua 30’
Michael Sunday Apudo 45+2’