All glory despite losing the last match of the season
3K sealed the title with a match to spare
The Kagumori based outfit amassed 53 points from 23 games, two better than Dunga can attain
Mini-league only remaining obstacle on the way to Division 2
3K had a great close to the season as they were crowned Embu County League champions despite losing 0-2 to Inter Dunga Dunga at Moi Stadium, Embu, on Sunday. The Champions received the league trophy and Ksh. 25,000 prize money from FKF Lower Eastern Branch secretary Njue Nyaga as the sun retreated to take a rest for the day.
Earlier, the champions received a guard of honor from hosts and bitter rivals Inter Dunga Dunga before kickoff.
There were no further niceties after kick off as the match descended into a fierce battle once the first whistle blew. The teams’ starkly contrasting styles of play (3K plays the long ball whereas Dunga prefers to build up) had the match unsettled for large portions of the first half. Dunga came close to taking the lead twice in the half, but both chances went begging. 0-0 at halftime.
Upon restart, both sides made a string of changes in a bid to outmaneuver their opponents. Dunga kept pressing and had much of the ball but they were continuously kept out by a backline keen to keep its lines clear. The pressure paid off in the 56th when Penuela Makala capitalized on a goal area melee to put the hosts ahead and throw the field into a cheerful rupture. ‘The Doctor,’ on for Daniel Kioko, was at it again in the 68th minute when he reacted fastest to slot home a low cross from the left.
It was not game over yet as 3K kept up the fight. Tempers almost flared in the 80th minute. A foul on Jack Biko caused both sets of players to almost go physical and some fans even descended onto the pitch. Calm was restored and the game progressed, but no further goals were apparently forthcoming.
2-0 at the end, but 3K edged their town rivals to win the race. A midweek walkover over Yatte meant second-placed Inter Dunga could not match 3K’s 53 points even if they won all their remaining matches. At best, Dunga can manage 51 points if they win their match against Embu Uni.
Although Sunday’s was the final match day of the season as per the official fixture, several teams still have some makeup matches expected to be cleared in the next fortnight.
3K and the eventual number two will qualify for a mini-league expected to be played within the month. Here, they will fight it out against other counties in the branch for two slots available in Division II, the country’s fourth tier of competition.
The ECL has an odd number of total matches played by each team (23) because Embu University did not take part in the first leg.