Sofapaka to feed hungry Leopards with ‘bitter dose’- Baraza


Teddy Osok (C) of Sofapaka FC fights for ball with Victor Majid (L) and Whyvonne ...
Teddy Osok (C) of Sofapaka FC fights for ball with Victor Majid (L) and Whyvonne Isuza of AFC Leopards SC during their Kenyan Premier League match at the Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on June 13, 2018. AFC Leopards SC won 1-0. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha

In Summary

  • After flying high past champions Gor Mahia in their last league fixture two weeks ago, 2009 champions Sofapaka have warned AFC Leopards to expect to be administered with the same unfriendly dose on Saturday when they trade swords at Mumias Sports Complex.
  • Sofapaka have enjoyed a new lease of life under Baraza, the man who revered for having an impeccable eye for goal in his heydays, and ahead of the looming test he’s not holding back.

After flying high past champions Gor Mahia in their last league fixture two weeks ago, 2009 champions Sofapaka have warned AFC Leopards to expect to be administered with the same bitter dose on Saturday when they trade swords at Mumias Sports Complex.

Sofapaka have enjoyed a new lease of life under Baraza, the man revered for having an impeccable eye for goal in his heydays, and ahead of the looming test he’s not holding back.

This match by all accounts will be staged in Western Kenya, the spiritual home of Leopards but visiting Sofapaka are exuberant they’ll get the better of the big cats who have blown hot and cold this term.

To put matters into perspective, you have to take a look at their recent records. In the last five matches, Sofapaka have a WWDLD record while Ingwe’s make for an even better reading: WLWWW.

In the first leg meeting on October 27 at the Narok Stadium, Leopards beat Sofapaka 2-1 with diminutive John Makwatta bagging a brace. First forward, the goal poacher has since decamped from Ingwe to join Zesco United in Zambia. In a nutshell, its game on!

Sofapaka FC coach John Baraza reacts during their Kenyan Premier League match against AFC Leopards SC at the Nyayo National Stadium on April 09, 2016. AFC Leopards SC won 2-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com
Sofapaka FC coach John Baraza reacts during their Kenyan Premier League match against AFC Leopards SC at the Nyayo National Stadium on April 09, 2016. AFC Leopards SC won 2-1. Photo/Stafford Ondego/Sportpicha/Citizen Digital

“We have prepared well and we are ready for the clash, we don’t have anybody on the injury list which is an indicator of a healthy team,” Baraza gloated. “The Gor Mahia match was just like any other and so we will face them (Leopards) on the basis of how we have prepared this week,” the former Sofapaka striker added.

Baraza, whose side sit at position eight on 30 points, 14 behind leaders Gor Mahia, is convinced that the league is still a marathon and nobody can claim to have won it yet.

“We have a lot of points to play for my friend; the league is still open and so no reason for anyone to start celebrating.”

With 14 points behind Gor, chances of winning the gong are remote, but it’s a probability, not an impossibility, and they’ll have to get their calculators out for this journey, but the bottom line is that they have to win win and win, and hope that Gor lose points along the way. That is just one of the hypotheses in the title race matrix as the chasing pack cannot be ruled out either.

Leopards who still nurse the title hopes, a 13th  crown for that matter , will be hoping for a win so as not to spoil the Saturday mood – as the occasion is also  meant to unveil their spanking new state-of-the-art bus.

Rugged right back Collins Shivachi is confident of victory which he avers will haul them into the top five.

“We are ready and united as a team, focused to register a win. I’m confident that the preparations we have had will help us on Saturday,” Shivachi growled as he dropped the gauntlet to the visitors.

Leopards have been camping at their spiritual home, Mumias, ahead of the duel, hoping for divine intervention, but this is the game of football.

They retreated to the tranquil region after their narrow 1-0  win over Elim FC in the FKF Shield tie last weekend at Kenyatta Stadium in Kitale.

They sit sixth, 10 points shy of leaders Gor Mahia. Could the football gods be kind to Kimani this weekend? Well, only time will tell.

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