Kakamega Homeboyz silence Ingwe as Sofapaka’s revival continues
Sofapaka underlined their intent to remain in the top tier over the weekend leaving it late to record a 2-0 win over struggling Ushuru FC to drag the taxmen into the relegation battle with eight rounds of the 2016 Kenyan Premier League left.
The 2009 league champions got their first successive wins on the trot and finally escaped the basement of the log, relinquishing that dishonour to Nairobi City Stars who were condemned to their fourth defeat in a row by faltering Mathare United.
Returning Coach David Ouma was coy on the club’s chances of avoiding the drop but credited consistency as the main factor needed to get the team past the red line come the end of the season.
“We’re playing one game at a time and we have decided to give the youthful players a chance so we can have a well balanced team. Our good performances of late have been aided by the team’s cohesion and once you get that winning momentum it becomes easier for you.
“There is high competition in the team for places and now it’s too early to say anything about the future but the league is a marathon so you never know,” the tactician told Citizen Digital.
It has been an uphill battle for Batoto ba Mungu who have never finished below fourth since they were promoted but they finally got reprieve in the last round, ending their 10 match winless streak with a 5-0 thrashing of their fellow relegation partners, City Stars.
In Mumias, Kakamega Homeboyz emphatically earned western region bragging rights in their third time of asking with a 4-1 rout of hometown rivals, AFC Leopards in the fixture dubbed the Cataluhya Derby.
The win shot the Mike Muiruri-led side into fourth on the log faintly igniting their title hopes as they seek to dislodge League leaders Tusker FC who hold an eight point advantage over them after being held to a 1-1 draw by Western Stima on Saturday.
The recently promoted side will be buoyed by their performance that has so far seen them remain unbeaten since the start of the second leg of the season.
The loss compounded the 12-time champions’ miserable week having gone down to Tanzanian giants Simba SC 4-0 on Monday in an international friendly with their defense on both occasions coming into question.
Elsewhere, Posta Rangers Head Coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno acknowledged that the daunting task of facing his former club never fazed him as his side settled for a barren draw with defending champions Gor Mahia.
“I did not feel any pressure when I came up against K’Ogalo, it’s just like any other game. It happens a lot in football, coaches change allegiances but that does not mean on my part I have to approach it differently.
“My players gave it their all despite being one man down for about 20 minutes and obviously when you go to a game, you’re expecting the three points but as a sportsman you accept the result you get with dignity and move on to the next match,” the former Harambee Stars tactician revealed.
The 1995 title-winning captain is however hopeful they have proved they can revive their first leg performances, which saw them occupy the top slots before finally falling down the pecking order, as they head into the business end of the season.
“We got two draws against very tough teams and obviously that has boosted the morale of the players and our target will be to get as many wins on the trot as possible. The season still has a long way to go so we’re going to take one game at a time,” he added.
At the top of the table, Gor is now playing catch up to Tusker as they registered their third barren draw on the bounce failing to capitalize on the Brewers slip.
K’ Ogalo’s expensively assembled strike force has failed to find the back of the net in four of their last five matches with their Head Coach Jose ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira cutting a dejected figure on the touchline.
Kenya Premier League Table
P W D L GF GA GD Pts.
1 Tusker FC 22 11 8 3 31 22 9 41
2 Gor Mahia 22 10 10 2 23 9 14 37
3 MathareUnited 22 9 7 6 22 20 2 34
4 Kakamega Homeboyz 22 9 6 7 23 22 1 33
5 Chemelil Sugar 22 9 6 7 16 16 0 33
6 Ulinzi Stars 20 8 8 4 24 17 7 32
7 Muhoroni Youth FC 22 9 5 8 22 22 0 32
8 Western Stima 22 7 10 5 23 19 4 31
9 Posta Rangers 21 6 11 4 14 11 3 29
10 AFC Leopards 22 8 7 7 26 25 1 28
11 SoNy Sugar 21 7 6 8 16 14 2 27
12 Bandari 22 6 9 7 19 18 1 27
13 Thika United 22 5 8 9 18 23 -5 23
14 Ushuru FC 22 5 7 10 19 31 -12 22
15 Sofapaka 22 4 3 15 21 29 -8 15
16 Nairobi City Stars 22 2 7 13 11 30 -19 13
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