By VICTOR OTIENO            
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Kisumu AllStars edged out visiting Green Commandoes 4-2 in a thrilling National Super League match at Moi Stadium in Kisumu, to move three points away from sealing a place in next season’s SportPesa Premier League.

Erick Otieno netted a brace for the Kisumu-based side as Dismas Amunga and Ian Motanda also put their names in the scoresheet with a goal apiece.

Commandoes goals were scored by Alex Achando and Richard Onyango.

AllStars now trail leader Wazito by one point on 77 and they must win away to already relegated Thika United on Sunday to gain promotion to the top flight next season.

Aware of how crucial a win from the match is to both sides, they started the clash on a high note, hundred of supporters at the stadium being treated to an end-to-end encounter.

Amunga almost gave AllStars the lead on 11 minutes from a free-kick, but his left-footed shot was deflected for a fruitless corner-kick.

Castro Bandi was a constant nuisance for the hosts on the right wing and two minutes later, he almost broke the deadlock after sneaking into the AllStars box, but defender Moses Okumu dispossessed him early, before Erick Otieno’s header the other end was saved by Commandoes goalkeeper Billy Wendo.

Otieno gave “Blue Eagles” the lead on the half-hour mark from the spot after Collins Sichenje was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area. But, the lead was short-lived as Ochando equalised seven minutes later. Unmarked inside the danger area, the latter latched onto a pass from the left wing and beat AllStars goalkeeper Geoffrey Were with a shot to the left side of the goalpost.


And even before the dust settled, Amunga restored AllStars lead from a goal mouth melee, to give the Kisumu County sponsored team an upper hand at the break.

Seven minutes into the second-half, Motanda netted AllStars third goal after collecting a pass and dribbling inside the box to send goalkeeper Wendo the wrong way. Commandoes’s Richard Onyango reduced the deficit on the 55th minute from another goal mouth melee the other end, before Erick Otieno put the scoreline beyond doubt with a superb finish on the hour-mark.

Meanwhile, leaders Wazito thumped Talanta 4-1 at Camp Toyoyo to edge closer to securing an immediate return to the top flight, barely a year after going down.

Promotion-chasing Ushuru also hit Kangemi AllStars 2-0 to keep their hopes of playing in the top flight alive. The final round of matches in the second tier league will be played on Sunday with the top two teams securing direct promotion to the Premier League. The third-placed team will face-off with Posta Rangers, who finished 16th in the top league, in a two-legged play-off tie to determine the team that concludes the 18-team top tier.

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