After playing three matches without registering a win, Sofapaka will be aiming to recapture their fading glory in the Kenya Premier League when they take on league leaders Gor Mahia on Wednesday’s mid-week fixtures at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu.
The Batoto ba Mungu will be hoping to welcome back their first choice goalkeeper Mathias Kigonya who has been sidelined for four league matches after dislocating his shoulder against Posta Rangers last month.
Kigonya’s absence has seen coach Sam Ssimbwa rotate the gloves between Ruben Juma and George Opiyo and Wednesday’s match is considered key for the 2009 champions.
Speaking to Citizen Digital, Ssimbwa said his focus is to win against the 15-time champions, predicting a tough contest.
“I t will be a very hard match for us keeping in mind that Gor is leading the league. They have a very solid team from goalkeeping to striking. I am sure of having Kigonya back between the posts though I’ll have to do without midfielder Mohamed Kilume who is out with a knock as well as top scorer Umaru Kasumba who remains doubtful after picking a knock in the last match.
Sofapaka has relinquished six points and dropped two places on the KPL log in the new revised fixture but Ssimbwa believes this is an ideal time to prove their worth, the table changes notwithstanding.
At the same time, Gor Mahia assistant coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno believes the match will be tough but is adamant his side will fight hard to secure the three points.
“We have been experiencing a good run so far, all players are in good form. I have no doubt that we will beat Sofapaka.”
Sofapaka has not lost to Gor since the 0-2 defeat in Kisumu in the first leg last season. In the second leg, the teams drew 0- 0 as Sofapaka struggled to rise from the relegation zone.
The Batoto Ba Mungu however got a sweet revenge inflicting K’Ogalo with a painful 2-0 defeat in the first leg and Wednesday’s contest should make for an intriguing showdown.
Other midweek matches will see Ulinzi Stars taking on Thika United at the Afraha Stadium, Nakuru while Mathare United entertain AFC Leopards.
Gor Mahia v Sofapaka, Kisumu
Ulinzi Stars v Thika United, Afaraha-Nakuru
Mathre United vAFC Leopards.