Sofapaka, Tusker clash in weekend’s big match
Sofapaka and Tusker will cross swords on Saturday afternoon at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos in the highlight match of the weekend as the Kenyan Premier League action enters round 19.
This should be an explosive contest going by the pedigree of both sides. Coach Francis Kimanzi of Tusker despite his team’s 5-1 mauling of Chemelil Sugar in their last match is still under pressure to make ground for the brewers’ dismal run in the first leg.
In terms of depth, Sam Timbe’s Sofapaka have been weakened by the departure of four key players at the end of the first leg.
Danger man Fiston Abdoul left the Batoto Ba Mungu for Mamelodi Sundowns in South Africa, while the energetic Enoch Agwanda has found a new home at Gor Mahia, while Danson Kago and Elli Asieche decamped to Tusker and KCB respectively.
The absence of these players was clear in Sofapaka’s 2-0 loss to KCB in their last fixture. This was a shock outcome given that the bankers have had a horrendous run thus far in the campaign.
“We did not play well against KCB. The exit of several of our key players has affected us. The new players are yet to gel, they need time to get to the rhythm,” Timbe said after the team’s defeat to KCB.
The Ugandan coach expects an equally tough match against Tusker.
“We expect a tough match (against Tusker) but our is always to win,” he said.
CLOSE THE GAP
Dutch trained Kimanzi is likely to unleash Kago on his former employers. On a good day, the youngster can be quite a handful for defenders and if he starts he will certainly be motivated by the prospect of facing his former side.
In other matches, Ulinzi Stars, after beating Nairobi City Stars 2-0 last weekend to move to position two on the log, will be out to build on their current repertoire when they play hosts to Ken Kenyatta’s Ushuru at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.
Maximum points will see the four-time champions trim Gor Mahia’s lead to nine points. K’Ogalo are in Dar es Salaam, Tanzanian for the Kagame Cecafa Club Championships.
With Gor Mahia likely to be away for up to 20 days, should they go all the way to the finals, this is a golden opportunity for chasing pack to close the gap.
On Sunday, Nairobi City Stars will up against AFC Leopards at the Nyayo National Stadium after Mathare United tackle Thika United at the same venue from 2pm.
City Stars have for long been a thorn in the flesh of Ingwe and buoyed by the Sh 81 million sponsorship from German firm PM International, they will be keen to get their first win in their new kits.
KPL Fixtures – Saturday:
Muhoroni Youth v Bandari (Muhoroni-3pm)
Ulinzi Stars v Ushuru (Afraha-3pm)
Sofapaka v Tusker (Machakos-3pm)
Chemelil Sugar v KCB (Kisumu-3pm)
Mathare United v Thika United (Nyayo-2pm)
City Stars v AFC Leopards (Nyayo-4:15pm)
Western Stima v All Stars (Kisumu-3pm)