FKF-PL season opener: Advantage Tusker, more work to do for Gor Mahia & Police but Leopards, Shabana fans will need to be patient

© Gor Mahia

FKF-PL season opener: Advantage Tusker, more work to do for Gor Mahia & Police but Leopards, Shabana fans will need to be patient

Joel Omotto 10:00 - 28.08.2023

Tusker were among three teams that won on matchday one as Gor Mahia were held by Sofapaka but a lack of goals for AFC Leopards and Shabana should be a concern

Tusker FC were the biggest winners among the title contenders on the opening weekend of the Football Kenya Federation Premier League as Gor Mahia and Kenya Police found the going tough.

Despite going down to 10 men, Tusker collected maximum points away to Bandari following a 1-0 victory with Ugandan forward Deogratious Ojok netting the only goal in the 42nd minute.

Robert Matano’s men had to play a man less for over 30 minutes after David Odoyo was sent off in the 57th minute but still held on to claim maximum points on enemy territory and their coach will also be delighted with the clean sheet.

A lack of sharpness was evident from most teams on matchday one with Gor Mahia drawing 1-1 with Sofapaka after Darius Msagha canceled out Benson Omala’s strike.

Both goals were scored early in the first half with neither side threating much and Gor coach Jonathan McKinstry will need to get his side firing quickly to avoid having rivals take giant steps early in the season.

K’Ogalo lacked their fluidity of last season as the Northern Irishman tries to get a tune out of his side who has seen an addition of new talent but he will be hoping that things are different next weekend against Ulinzi Stars.

Meanwhile, Kenya Police’s huge outlay did not yield immediate dividends as they could only manage a goalless draw against Kariobangi Sharks.

Police have been termed as title contenders this season after missing the 2022-23 crown by six points in a campaign when they had the best attack and defence but they lacked firepower against the young Sharks.

Coach Francis Baraza fielded his array of talented midfielders with Kenneth Muguna and Tyson Otieno, signed in the offseason, and Francis Kahata all deployed but they could not produced the magic needed against Sharks with last season’s Golden Boot winner Elvis Rupia unable to open his account on matchday one.

Only two other teams; Nzoia Sugar and new boys Murang’a Seal collected maximum points in an opening weekend that witnessed five draws.

Nzoia might have lost a huge number of players and their coach of last season but showed they still have life in them by coming from behind to beat Ulinzi Stars 2-1 while Murang’a handed Shabana a losing return to the Premier League following a 1-0 last-minuet win in Homa Bay.

There is still more work to do for new AFC Leopards coach Tom Juma whose side could only fire blanks against less fancied FC Talanta on Sunday.

Juma has signed 20 new players after seeing the club’s transfer ban lifted and the early signs are that they will need time to gel before they start posting positive results.

Meanwhile, Shabana fans will have to be patient with Tore Bobe who put up a good account of themselves against a familiar opponent before a defensive mix-up messed them up but will have to massively improve against FC Talanta next weekend before Police come calling on matchday three.