The Football Kenya Federation Premier League title is now squarely in Tusker FC’s destiny, after the league leaders beat Kakamega Homeboyz 2-0 on Friday to go three points clear of second placed KCB.
While the brewers were winners in their third last game of the season, KCB suffered a 2-1 loss at the hands of relegation fighting Vihiga United in Mumias, to see the bankers fall off the title pace with two matches to go.
Tusker can wrap up the title on Wednesday if they beat Nzoia Sugar away from home in Sudi and KCB drop points at the hands of AFC Leopards in Nairobi.
Momentarily, Tusker had fallen off the pace after losing away to Bandari FC in Mombasa. In Kisumu, KCB had beaten Western Stima 2-0 to move two points clear on top of the standings. But the bankers faltered with a draw against Gor Mahia, enabling Tusker to take back the lead with a win against Sofapaka.
And now, the brewers are smelling their 12th league title to become the second joint most successful club in Kenya.
Against Homeboyz, Tusker were keen to get the game done and dusted as soon as they could. They however survived an early onslaught from Homeboyz with Vincent Ngesa clearing the ball off the line in a third minute counter.
The rebound fell on David Odhiambo and with keeper Emery Mvuyekure off his line, the striker could only curl the ball inches over the bar.
After surviving a series of defensive chases with the swift Homeboyz, Tusker finally broke the deadlock when Francis Omondi cleared the ball against his teammate Brian Eshihanda before it bounced into the net.
Rodgers Aloro had curled in a dangerous freekick from the right which Henry Meja flicked towards goal, but Omondi’s attempt to clear it off the line could only end up in an own goal.
Six minutes later Tusker were 2-0 up when Mike Madoya, in only his third start of the season looped a header over keeper David Juma as he rose unmarked inside the box off another delivery from Aloro off a freekick.
Going to the break at 2-0 up and with news of KCB trailing 2-1 in Mumias, Tusker were calm and relaxed after the break.
Coach Robert Matano made his customary triple subs, bringing on Humphrey Mieno, Chris Onyango and Jackson Macharia for Madoya, Kevin Okoth and Meja. Two substitutes, Mieno and Ochieng almost combined for the third goal when Mieno sent the latter through.
However, keeper Juma was quick off his line to block the effort. Ochieng had another golden opportunity when he was sent through by another peach of a pass from Macharia, but his attempt at lifting the ball over the keeper was over.
On the other end, Tusker almost let their guard down when the backline was caught flat footed, Stephen Opoku racing through to a Stephen Wakanya through pass. However, Mvuyekure was quick off his line to make a decent one on one block.
Tusker calmly managed the game and with Homeboyz starting to look dangerous, Apollo Otieno was brought in for Ngesa to solidify the midfield and calmly guard the victory.