By Julia Wanjeri
Four matches were played over the weekend in the Kenya Women’s Premier League (KeWPL) and for the first time this season, it was not a goals festivity as defences proved impenetrable even to defending champions Thika Queens and league debutants Vihiga Queens who until the 4-5 June weekend had been scoring for fun.
Gaspo Youth 2-0 Soccer Queens
It was yet another case of “Akinyi to the rescue” for Soccer Queens in their match played on Saturday 4 June. However, this time round it was not Rebecca Akinyi, the brace-scorer in Soccer Queens’ midweek win against Soccer Sisters. It was Quintah Akinyi. Quintah, who was yet to score this season, scored two goals late in the second half, with Terry Engessa providing both assists, to give Soccer Queens their first back-to-back win and deny the hosts the chance of doing the same.
Coming from a dramatic 4-3 win away to Makolanders after losing their season opener 9-0 against the defending champions, Gaspo Youth were looking to make it two successive wins too, especially seeing that they were playing a side that had played in midweek. However, they missed way too many chances, finding the back of the net once in the first half, courtesy of Winnie Kanyotu, but the goal was ruled offside. So they forge ahead with three points in three games as Soccer Queens record six points in three games.
Vihiga Leeds 0-0 Eldoret Falcons
In the other league match played on Saturday, Eldoret Falcons failed yet again to find their scoring boots that saw them win their season opener 2-0 against Baringo Starlets. They lost 4-0 to Wadadia Mumias in their second match thus a point in the bag in their third against Vihiga Leeds is a fact they can live with, at least for now.
Vihiga Leeds on the other hand are still searching for their first win of the season after being walloped 6-0 in the Vihiga County derby in their first match. Their second match against Baringo Starlets last weekend was postponed.
Vihiga Queens 0-1 Oserian
With a whopping 11 unanswered goals in the bag (having won 6-0 and 5-0 in their first two matches respectively), Vihiga Queens seemed far from underdogs coming into this match despite being the league debutants hosting a league veteran: Oserian.
Oserian were playing their season opener after their first games were postponed thanks to the teething problems facing the clubs due to the league and most of the clubs lacking an official sponsor(s). The visitors managed to honour their match away to Vihiga Queens all the same and Harambee Starlets’ Dorcas Shikobe was more than happy to score the sole goal of the match to grab all the three points and halt the hosts’ goal-scoring spree as well as bequeath them their first loss of the season
Soccer Sisters 0-0 Thika Queens
Rarely if ever does a match that ended in a barren draw come to mind when one thinks of epic matches, but the last kickoff of the weekend proved that a scoreless encounter can be a feast for the eyes.
The fast-paced match saw both sides place their best foot forward with both sides producing flowing football in attack and solid displays at the back.
Thika Queens’ captain Lucy Ikhumba in particular led by example at the back, halting the host’s offence before swiftly starting her team’s attack with her trademark neat through passes before flying on the wings to receive and then supply pinpointed crosses for the forwards to finish off. Her donkey work wasn’t rewarded with a goal but it sure met the applause of the small but vocal gathered crowd.
Up front, Anita Adong, Lucy Mukhwana and the league’s top goalscorer Mary Kinuthia missed clear chances to drown Soccer Sisters and on several occasions the hosts would have punished them for it. Actually, they almost did. A minute to full-time, a counterattack ended with the lanky Soccer Sisters forward Purity Nyongesa, who had been a thorn in the flesh of Thika Queens the whole match, brought down in the box. Penalty awarded, Margaret Nyambura stepped up. She hit the crossbar. The ball landed on her feet again. She fired it into the net.
The hosts claim it was a goal as Nyambura had wriggled past a few Thika Queens’ players before finding the net in her second attempt. The visitors claim no wriggling happened. The ball came straight from the crossbar to Nyambura’s feet then into the net so it wasn’t a goal. The referee’s decision…? Better luck next time, Soccer Sisters. Yes, the goal was disallowed to bring to an end arguably the most entertaining match of the season so far.
PS: The Baringo Starlets versus Nyamira Starlets match that was to be played on Sunday 5 June was postponed. What? Why? Read the aforementioned teething problems. [Smile.]