Leopards’ Zapata: With ‘title gone’ second spot is ours


Leopards' Zapata: With 'title gone' second spot is ours

In Summary

  • Both Gor Mahia and rivals AFC Leopards have set their sights on the top two spots in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) 2018 season
  • Ahead of their round 25 fixtures, Gor head coach Kerr has affirmed his target to win the title as early as possible
  • Leopards’ Rodolfo Zapata concedes the title is gone but not the second place

Both Gor Mahia and rivals AFC Leopards have set their sights on the top two spots in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) as the homestretch of the 2018 season beckons.

Ahead of their round 25 fixtures, Gor head coach Kerr has affirmed his target to win the title as early as possible with the runaway leaders 15 points clear of second placed Sofapaka, while Leopards’ Rodolfo Zapata concedes the title is gone but not the second place.

Gor face a Nakumatt FC in Kenyatta Stadium Machakos on Saturday as Leopards host Mathare United in the same venue on Sunday, both Kerr and Zapata expressing confidence to bag maximum points.

Renewed zeal

Zapata believes his charges have got what it takes to help the club finish the season on a high note, insisting their win against Vihiga United in their last assignment has renewed their zeal after the mashemeji derby defeat.

 “That is what we are aiming at (finishing second) and we are ready for Mathare, because we cannot afford to drop points anyhow with such a target in mind. We dominate most of the games even the ones we end up losing, but I’m looking forward to see dominance with a result against Mathare,” said the coach.

However Zapata has warned his charges to expect a difficult Mathare, underscoring their technical ability.

“It’s going to be a tough game because they are one of the teams with admirable technical ability. That does not worry us though, our stature is big and demands results in such matches,” told Zapata.

Their opponents Mathare have failed to win any of their last five league outings and will come into this clash from a 2-0 defeat against Sony Sugar.

Focused on winning

Gor Mahia FC coach Dylan Kerr arrives for the match against Posta Rangers FC during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Kasarani stadium in Nairobi, Kenya on August 23, 2017. Photo/Kelly Ayodi/Sportpicha

Gor have already played five matches in the last two weeks, and their schedule is still as tight, but head coach Dylan Kerr says his charges are focused on winning against Nakumatt.

Gor have won 17 league matches and drawn four in the current campaign and have three games in hand, topping the table standings on 55 points.

Their weekend opponents Nakumatt are placed 12th on the log with 28 points but the Medo Melis-led side has lost thrice in four meetings against K’Ogalo, scoring just once and conceding eight goals.

Their only draw came in a 1-1 result registered in the 2015 FKF Cup which Nakumatt won on penalties.

Kerr, who led his charges in their 3-0 win over Kariobangi Sharks in Kisumu on Wednesday, wants no complacency in the clash.

“Nakumatt have pulled themselves out of trouble with the new coach and it’s always a tough game whenever we meet,” the 51-year-old offered, revealing Francis Kahata, Humphrey Mieno, Jacques Tuyisenge and Joakim Oluoch may not feature in the match.

“We have a lot of matches lined up for us; we cannot risk players who are injured. Rotation is the only option but we are comfortable doing it,” he added.

Other KPL Weekend Fixtures

Saturday 4 th August

Chemelil Sugar FC vs Vihiga United – Chemelil – 3pm

Kakamega Homeboyz vs Tusker FC – Bukhungu – 3pm

Posta Rangers vs Bandari – Camp Toyoyo – 3pm

Sunday 5 th August

Kariobangi Sharks vs Zoo FC – Camp Toyoyo – 11am

Sofapaka vs Ulinzi Stars – Narok – 2pm

Nzoia Sugar FC vs Wazito FC – Sudi – 3pm

Sony Sugar FC vs Thika United – Awendo – 3pm

Report by Jacob Icia and Robie Chome

 

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