KeWPL: League debutantes Gaspo find redemption

 By Julia Wanjeri

 

League debutants Gaspo Youth pose after their 3-4 dramatic away win against Makolanders
League debutants Gaspo Youth pose after their 3-4 dramatic away win against Makolanders

 

Just three weeks into the Kenya Women’s Premier League (KeWPL) and the league has seen a whopping 31 different players find the back of the net around the country. This is inspite of a few teething problems, including the lack of a league sponsor plus most teams still missing an official sponsor, factors that once again resulted in three out of the six fixtures planned for the 28-29 May weekend not being played.

The three that were played provided mouth-watering action, with Gaspo Youth redeeming themselves in their match against Makolanders played on Saturday 28 May at Ruaraka Stadium, Nairobi.

 

Early kickoff

Smarting from a 9-0 hammering courtesy of Thika Queens in their first league fixture, league debutants Gaspo came out all guns blazing against the more experienced Makolanders. Their efforts paid off in the 15th minute when Captain Florence Awino gave them the lead, which they carried into the break.

Four minutes into the second half, Jackline Musala doubled Gaspo’s lead. Makolanders responded immediately and a one-two attack ended with the menacing Harambee Starlets forward Atieno Neddy placing her name on the scoreboard in the 57th minute. Three minutes later, Neddy was brought down in the penalty box. Vivian Ebere, the brace-scorer in Makolanders’ 3-1 win against Soccer Sisters in their league opener on 21 May, fired in the equaliser.

With the hosts now going for the kill and the visitors yanked back to fighting for dear life, it was game on. The audience was treated to a game of ping-pong, each side giving as good as it got. Neddy was brought down again in the box again in the 75th minute and Ebere stepped up to take the penalty. Not twice lucky, Ebere shot wide.

 

Viviane Ebere has scored three goals in two games for Makolanders
Viviane Ebere has scored three goals in two games for Makolanders

 

Dramatic finish

The hosts missed a few clear chances as the game entered the last 10 minutes. Naomi Njeri finally found the net in the 86th minute to give them the lead.

Gaspo responded in kind with Winnie Mugechi releasing a sumptuous free kick from the edge of the box to make it 3-3 in the 88th minute before Lasu Amy finished the job at the stroke of full-time to gift Gaspo a dramatic away win and the more fancied Makolanders their first defeat of the season.

“Our defeat last week was tragic. However, we chose not to whine about it. We instead used it to fire ourselves up and it was evident from the word go today that we were here to make it known that such a scoreline wasn’t going to be the norm,” Gaspo coach Isaack Otieno told Ladies March.

“We definitely need to work on our defence but I am pleased with my players for their teamwork and especially for not giving up even after Makolanders took the lead four minutes to time,” Otieno added.

 

KeWPL Week 3 Results Roundup:

Makolanders 3-4 Gaspo Youth, Florence Awino 13’, Jackline Musula 49’, Atieno Neddy 56, Vivian Ebere 60’, Naomi Njeri 86’, Winnie Mugechi 88’, Lasy Amy 90’.

Thika Queens 3-2 Spedag, Sharon Bushenei 14’, Christine Omondi 22’, Esse Akida 35’, Mary Kinuthia 45’ 54’.

Vihiga Queens 5-0 Wadadia Mumias, Phoebe Owino 22’ 53’, Enez Mango 35’ 86’, Choka Linda 90’.

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