WE WILL BOUNCE BACK STRONGER, VOWS OKOTI

Sofapaka defender Humphrey Okoti believes the team will bounce back stronger despite Sunday’s 2-1 shock defeat against Bandari in Machakos. The defender believes the team is on a learning curve and will come out good and will learn from the defeat and come back a better and improved team.

“The game was not bad I think we played well, but we only lost concentration for a few minutes in the second half and they capitalized and scored against us. We are a new team and we are just getting to know each other and gel as a team but I know in due time, everything will be okay,” Okoti noted.

He adds that everyone in the team is giving their best in training and on match days and notes the few mistakes that have come up over the last two matches will be addressed and the team will come out good.

“We have to improve a bit in terms of ball retention because if you look at both goals we conceded against Bandari, they all came up due to the fact that we lost the ball easily and couldn’t fight to get it back,” noted Okoti.

He added; “I believe we can also do a bit better in finishing and we will address that in training this week.”

FINISHING KEY CONCERN FOR MEDO AS SOFAPAKA RESUMES TRAINING

Finishing key concern for Medo as Sofapaka resumes training

Sofapaka resumed training on Tuesday morning after Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Bandari in Machakos and head coach Melis Medo says his major concern will be the team’s finishing with the game against AFC Leopards beckoning this weekend.

The tactician says he was particularly disappointed with the scoring rate in the loss to Bandari, says at least, the team should have won 4-2.

“I am not going to blame anyone, We did our part, created the chances and fairly, it should have been 4-2. We had the chances to score but we just couldn’t get the ball behind the net. We played well but we have to work on our finishing,” the coach said.

He added; “We also need to look at our defending and how we press when we lose the ball. It was not very good when we played against Bandari. We had some few lapses in defense that we need to address.”

On how he feels the team is building up after two matches: “It is still too early and its just the beginning. We are just warming up but we still have a long way to go. We are not playing bad football we just need to keep working and keep improving,” he stated.

SOFAPAKA LOSE 2-1 TO BANDARI IN MACHAKOS

Sofapaka suffered their first defeat of the season after losing 2-1 to Bandari at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos. Yema Mwana and Wycliffe Ochomo scored in the second half after Kepha Aswani had hit the back of the net after 35 seconds to hand Bandari the maximum points from the tie.

Aswani scored the quickest league goal for Sofapaka after tapping home a cross from Cliff Kasuti on the right.

On the other end, Richard Aimo made a great save to deny Yema Mwana who had broken into the area to shoot, but the keeper managed to put his body on the line.

Sofapaka had a great chance after 10 minutes when Mike Oduor tried his luck with a shot from distance but Bandari keeper Faruk Shikalo put a finger tip to the ball turning it behind for a corner.

It was a game of chances on either end and the visitors had one more after 26 minutes when Aimo did well again to go down and save a shot from Abdallah Hassan before he positioned himself well again 10 minutes later to block a header from the winger who was isolated on the left.

At the start of the second half, Sofapaka almost two up when Aswani rose in to head a cross from Kasuti but the effort went inches wide.

But, Bandari went back level in the 57th minute off a counter attack with Yema Mwana beating Aimo one on one.

Despite seeing their lead cut short, Sofapaka gave in a fight and they should have been back up but Kasuti could not shoot past Shikalo who was off his line.

Immediately, Sofapaka was punished for the miss with a swift counter, Mwana running beyond Mousa Omar and putting Ochomo through who tapped into an empty net.

Batoto ba Mungu should have made an immediate response after going down when substitute Piston Mutamba did well to shield a long ball on his chest before teeing up Oduor through on goal but somehow the midfielder could not hit the target with a gaping goalmouth.

Having thrown away a 1-0 lead, Sofapaka pushed for an equalizer and should have had at least a goal with Mutamba bearing the chances.

First his effort with a freekick from good scoring range was acres over the bar while his second attempt was with a shot inside the box which was an easy catch for Shikalo.

Three minutes to time, Sofapaka had another chance off a counter when John Avire rushed in from the left but one on one with Shikalo, the keeper came off tops with a save.

The ball was cut back to the edge of the box and met by Dennis Odhiambo whose powerful shot was deflected for a corner.

SOFAPAKA LINEUP AGAINST BANDARI FC

Sofapaka team that will face Bandari fc at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos on Sunday 16th December 2018 for the Sportpesa Premier League Championship.

Starting eleven include:

Richard Aimo (32)
Dennis Odhiambo (02)
Elli Asieche (03)
Titus Achesa (20)
Moussa Omar (15)
Cliff Kasuti (33)
Humphrey Okoti (23)
John Avire (40)
Micheal Oduor (11)
Justin Mico (10)
Kepha Aswani (50)

SUBSTITUTES

Isaiah Wakasala (39)
Samuel Mutiria (19)
Faina Jacobs (06)
Stephen Waruru (22)
Piston Mutamba (09)
Soter Kayumba (24)
Sammy Imbuye (12)

Jamhuri Cup 2018 Champs webpost

SOFAPAKA WINS FIRST SILVERWARE OF THE SEASON

Goals from skipper Stephen Waruru, substitute John Avire and Michael Oduor saw Sofapaka claw from a goal down to beat second tier outfit Shabana FC and clinch the Jamhuri Day Cup at Camp Toyoyo on Wednesday.

Francis Oduor had given Shabana an early lead, but Sofapaka fought back to win the tie and add a morale boosting trophy to the beginning of the season.

The opening quarter of an hour didn’t have much of scoring chances save for a Justin Mico shot from distance which was saved by the keeper.

Shabana scored immediately on the turn of play with Oduor curling a shot beyond Richard Aimo from the left.

Sofapaka fought to get back on level terms and had chances to score.

On the half hour mark, Oduor came close with a rasping shot from distance which the Shabana keeper managed to punch over for a corner. The Shabana keeper was kept busy and in the 35th minute he had to fully stretch to his left to keep away Dennis Odhiambo’s freekick.

Batoto ba Mungu finally broke the deadlock at the stroke of halftime when Waruru converted from the penalty spot after Piston Mutamba was pushed inside the box.

In the second half Sofapaka came in much better with Medo making changes including pulling out Mico for Tom Adwar while Waruru and Mutamba came off for Avire and Kepha Aswani respectively.

Avire made his presence felt in the 63rdminute with a well powered header off an Oduor cross, scoring his second goal for Sofapaka in less than five days having scored in the 2-1 win over Mount Kenya United last weekend.

On the other end, Sofapaka keeper Aimo was forced to work, twice saving from Moses Arita and a freekick from Andrew Ongwae.

A sweeping counter attacking move saw Sofgapaka score the third, Elli Asieche picking the ball deep in the area before racing away and feeding Opduor who scored on the first touch.

KASUTI: I WAS COMFORTABLE PLAYING AT WINGBACK

New signing Cliff Kasuti was drafted into playing an unfamiliar role on Sunday during Sofapaka’s first game of the season against Mount Kenya United, but the former Ulinzi Stars man did just fine and adjusted to the position well.

Kasuti, signed at the end of last season from military side Ulinzi Stars has often playing as a winger, but with options short for coach Melis Medo, he was called in to play in the new system with more defensive duties and didn’t put a foot wrong.

“I didn’t find it strange at all because most of the times when I was playing as a winger, I was used to dropping down and helping the defense. This time though there was more responsibility to drop back and I think I adjusted very well to that role,” Kasuti said.

He hopes to flourish under Medo at Sofapaka and points out that so far, he has felt at home at his new club and he hopes to do more and win trophies.

“In any role the coach wants me to play in, I am ready to fill in. So far I have enjoyed being here and I was welcomed very positively. Hopefully I can keep on improving and helping the team,” further stated Kasuti.

sofapaka_vs_shabana

SOFAPAKA TO PLAY SHABANA IN JAMHURI CUP

Sofapaka will take on National Super League (NSL) side ShabanaFC for the Jamhuri Day Cup trophy at the Camp Toyoyo tomorrow in a match that will also double up as head coach Melis Medo’s preparation for Sunday’s home clash against title rivals Bandari in Machakos.

The match will kick off at 4pm with the two sides clashing for the Jamuhuri Cup bragging rights.

“This will be a good match for us to look at a few combinations we are considering for the Bandari game over the weekend. As a coach it is better when you have a competitive match to weigh your plans and this is a perfect opportunity,” head coach Melis Medo said.

He added; “It is also an opportunity to give a chance to the players who didn’t feature against Mount Kenya on Sunday and also see what they have and what they stand to bring into the team.”

The squad returned to training on Tuesday at the Ruiru Stadium

Coach Medo talks first game, points of improvement

COACH MEDO TALKS FIRST GAME, POINTS OF IMPROVEMENT

Head coach Melis Medo says despite starting the 2018/2019 season with a win against Mount Kenya United, he was entirely not happy with how the match panned out and has called for improvement in the next game.

Medo was particularly irked with missed chances and has challenged the team to do better in the final third.

“I am not happy with that win and infact I should consider that a draw. I have a lot of reservations about that game because we created so many opportunities but we couldn’t finish. In the first half Avire (John) should have had three on his own, last one in the second half for Sammy (Imbuye)should have been a goal,” the tactician said.

He added; “I’m I happy? Yes and no. Thing is we created, pressed, accelerated, but we just couldn’t capitalize inside box.”

On fielding Cliff Kasuti as a wingback;

“I was happy with how he played. He is a type of player that can move anywhere along the line and he did his work well,”

On what to improve in the next game;

“We need to work a bit on our defense with a few mistakes here and there especially with the decision making. The goal we conceded was as a result of split-second decision making.”

Team Update: Kasumba, Yussuf

TEAM UPDATE: KASUMBA, YUSSUF

There is an update on the injuries sustained by striker Umaru Kasumba and left back Yussuf Mohammed. The two picked up injuries in the final pre-season friendly against Mathare United last week and after assessment, the doctors have given a report on their recovery.

Kasumba picked up a hamstring injury that might sideline him for up to four weeks while Mohammed who fell awkwardly with his shoulder should be back in first team training after two weeks.

“It’s a shame especially with Kasumba because in training he was superb and hitting the goals. We will miss him but hopefully he comes back better and stronger,” coach Melis Medo said.

The team resumes training on Tuesday morning in Ruiru ahead of next Sunday’s tie against Bandari at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

Avire hungry for more goals after opening Sofa account

AVIRE HUNGRY FOR MORE GOALS AFTER OPENING SOFA ACCOUNT

New signing John Avire marked his debut in the yellow and black of Sofapaka with a goal against his former employers as Batoto ba Mungu beat Mount Kenya United 2-1 on Sunday in Machakos.

Avire says the goal he scored has given him hunger to score more and says he will work harder to improve his conversion rate and help the team gun for titles this season.

“To me it was a very good start scoring on my debut and I am hoping for a better season. I love scoring because that’s my job and hitting that goal has given me confidence moving forward and some hunger to score more goals,” the forward stated.

He says he has been received beautifully by the Sofapaka family since joining from Mount Kenya United and he hopes to repay the love he has shown by scoring crucial goals that will see the team bag titles.

“I love the Sofapaka family. It is a good team and I am hoping we can have more teamwork to help us reach our expectations,” he said.

Adding; “My main aim this season is to score goals game aftergame and help the team get silverware. I am optimistic if we all work hard we can achieve our targets. Sofapaka is a big team with a lot of quality and we should end the season with something,”

“Personally, I want to be among the top scorers this season,” he further stated.

Avire joined the team from Mount Kenya United and has also played for Bandari having graduated from Passenga High School.