Category: NEWS

SOFAPAKA LINEUP AGAINST BUNGOMA SUPERSTARS FC

FKF Sportpesa Shield Cup 2019 commences today and this is our lineup for the round 1 match against Bungoma Superstars fc at Sudi Stadium on Saturday 16th March 2019  as presented by our Head Coach John Baraza and the technical bench

Starting eleven include:

Isaiah Wakasala .39
Willis Obayi .03
Faina Jacobs .06
Cornelius Juma .07
Sammy lmbuye .12
Elli Asieche .16 (C)
Samuel Mutiria .17
Titus Achesa .20
Ibrahim Kajuba .25
Ibrahim Kitawi .28
Cliff Kasuti .33

SUBSTITUTES

John Avire .40
Richard Aimo .32
Stephen Waruru .22
Umaru Kasumba .13
Pistone Mutamba .09
George Maelo .08

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AVIRE SENDS SOFAPAKA TOP OF KPL LOG

John Avire’s glancing header at the stroke of halftime saw Sofapaka beat AFC Leopards 1-0 at the Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega on Wednesday to move top of the Kenyan Premier League standings with 33 points, one ahead of Bandari who have a game in hand.

It was a game of two halves with Sofapaka dominating the first half while the hosts AFC leopards saw most of the ball in the second 45 minutes.

In the fourth minute, Sofapaka had a chance when Brian Magonya put Piston Mutamba through with a defense splitting pass, but the lanky forward’s attempt to cut it back to the edge of the area was blocked.

On the other end, Justin Ndikumana, voted by the technical bench as the man of the match had to be hawkeyed to collect a long range shot from Majid Victor.

In the 18th minute, Batoto ba Mungu came ever so close when Stephen Waruru rose highest inside the box off an Elli Asieche corner, but his effortsailed wide. Justin continued to thwart AFC especially on their dangerous set pieces and the keeper did well in the 33rd minite to fist away an effort from Robinson Kamura.

Sofapaka thought they had the lead nine minutes to half time when Mutamba headed home after George Maelo had put the ball back into the edge of the box from a corner, but the goal was ruled out for a foul.

Sofapaka piled pressure and came close again when Avire was teed up from a freekick by Asieche, but his shot went inches wide. But, there was no denying him at the stroke of halftime, the forward rose unmarked inside the box to head home from Kassumba’s super assist off his outer foot.

In the second half AFC came back a better side and pushed Sofapaka to defend deep.

Ten minutes after the restart, Ndikumana had to be alert inside the box to stick out a foot to cut out Yussuf Mainge’s cross from the right with Whyvone Isuza lurking waiting to pounce.

Sofapaka should have doubled their tally thrice in quick succession. First, Stephen Waruru’s header from an Asieche corner went against the woodwork while Mutamba picked up the rebound but his shot was blocked on the line.

A minute later, Mutamba was sent through on goal by Asieche, but he could not beat keeper Jairus Adira one on one after he stuck out a foot.

AFC pushed and in the final quarter of the game, but Sofapaka stood firm with Ndikumana standing tall in goal to keep out all dangers

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SOFAPAKA LINEUP AGAINST AFC LEOPARDS FC

Our 2nd leg commences and this is our lineup for the round 18 match against AFC leopards fc at Bukhungu Stadium Kakamega on Wednesday 13th March 2019 for the Sportpesa Premier League Championship as presented by our Head Coach John Baraza and the technical bench

Starting eleven include:

Justin Ndikumana .01 
Faina Jacobs .06
George Maelo .08
Pistone Mutamba .09
Umaru Kasumba .13
Moussa Omar .15
Elli Asieche .16 (C)
Titus Achesa .20
Stephen Waruru .22
Brian Magonya .26
John Avire .40

SUBSTITUTES

Richard Aimo .32
Ibrahim Kitawi .28
Soter Kayumba .24
Samuel Mutiria .17
Sammy lmbuye .12
Cornelius Juma .07
Willis Obayi .03

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BARAZA LAUDS FOCUS DESPITE CONGESTED FIXTURE

Coach John Baraza has lauded the team’s focus despite being faced with a tough fixture list. The team travelled to Kakamega for Wednesday’s game against AFC Leopards just two days after returning to the capital from Awasi where they won 3-0 against Chemelil.

After the AFC game on Wednesday, the team will remain in Western Kenya ahead of Saturday’s Football Kenya Federation Shield tie against Bungoma Super Stars before embarking on another journey to the capital.

“We face the game as soldiers and take it as it comes. It has been a lot of travelling in between but I am happy with the focus and determination shown by the players,” Baraza said.

Ahead of the AFC game, coach Baraza says he expects a tough duel against a side that has seen a resurgence in form after back to back wins.

“AFC are winning and that only means there is something they are doing well. It will be a tough game for us and also for them. We have prepared well despite the short time and we want to go out there and win,” the coach said.

He added; “If we win we will go top of the table and that is motivation enough. The boys are psyched knowing what’s ahead of them and that is what is driving us.”

On the team news, Dennis Odhiambo will not feature in the match as he has just resumed training and the coach saw it not to risk him despite gaining full recovery. Mohammed Kilume is still out with a hamstring tear while Mike Oduor has returned to training but will miss the match on compassionate leave after losing a relative.

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Healthy Chemelil win excites coach Baraza

HEALTHY CHEMELIL WIN EXCITES COACH BARAZA

Sofapaka coach John Baraza has praised his players for the emphatic 3-0 win over Chemelil Sugar in Awasi on Saturday and says it was a brilliant way to end the first leg. A double from Pistone Mutamba and one from skipper Stephen Waruru saw Sofapaka finish the first leg with 30 points.

“It was our target to finish on 30 points and I am happy we achieved it. Chemelil is always a tough place to come and getting to win by a 3-0 margin is a really great thing for us,” Baraza said.

“We played according to the plan and everything worked for us. We gave 100pc on the pitch and also Justin (Ndikumana) saving the first half penalty gave us some confidence heading into the rest of the game,” added the tactician.

Baraza hopes the confidence picked up with back to back wins can spur the side heading into the second leg.

“We now go into the tough phase of the season where every point is vital. It will be tough but we are ready to fight to the end. We want to start the second leg well and keep the form to the end,” the coach opined.

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PISTONE ELATED TO BE BACK ON SCORING CHARTS

Pistone Mutamba’s two goals over Chemelil Sugar over the weekend saw the lanky striker get back to scoring form for Sofapaka, seeing him move to three goals this season. His last goal for Sofapaka was during the 3-2 win over Zoo Kericho almost two months ago.

The striker says he hopes the two against the sugar millers in Awasi will spur him to take his scoring form back on top.

“I really feel happy and relieved at the same time. It has been such a long time and getting back to scoring form is a feeling I can never trade for anything. I wanted to score at least a goal to boost my confidence and having two makes it better,” the forward noted.

He added; “It has come at such a good time especially because of where the season is at the moment. I can score a few more in the second leg because I want to bag double digits at the end of the campaign. It also comes at a time when we are heading to the Olympic qualifiers with the national team and it gives me a lot of confidence.”

Other than scoring one of the three goals in the 3-0 win, Mutamba completed his first 90 minutes of the season and he hopes he can pick up more minutes in the coming games.

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SOFAPAKA CRUSH CHEMELIL TO FINISH FIRST LEG AT THIRD PLACE

Sofapaka crush Chemelil to finish first leg at third place

Sofapaka finished the first leg of the Kenyan Premier League at third place with a 3-0 thrashing of Chemelil Sugar in Awasi on Saturday afternoon seeing the side hit the 30-point mark, halfway through the season. Playing his first full 90 minutes of the season, Piston Mutamba struck twice with skipper Stephen Waruru hitting the other as Sofapaka continued in their good form.

Mutamba who had come in to start ahead of John Avire opened the scoring in the eighth minute when he leaped highest inside the box to thump in a header off an Elli Asieche corner.

It was a huge confidence boosting start from the boys as they grew into the game despite an intimidating home support.

Sofapaka had another chance in the 17th minute when Sammy Imbuye nudged the ball off a Chemelil defender teeing up Stephen Waruru, but the striker’s shot from the edge of the area went wide.

On the other end, Chemelil were awarded a questionable penalty when Lucas Waitere went down easily on his own inside the box, but it was instant justice when Justin Ndikumana leaped well to his right to parry away Vincent Mahiga’s spot kick.

In the 33rd minute, Sofapaka doubled their tally when Waruru headed home unmarked at the edge of the six yard box when Umaru Kassumba flicked through a long throw from George Maelo. A minute to the break, Kassumba thought he had poked home his eighth of the season when he raced to a Waruru flick, but the assistant referee had her flag up for offside.

Coming into the second half, Sofapaka were focused on finishing the job. Just three minutes in, Mutamba completed his brace and Kassumba also is brace of assists when the Ugandan put the lanky forward through before he lashed a sweet low strike from 30 yards out beating the keeper.

The host side pushed into the Sofapaka half, forcing the visitors to defend nervously with Gilbert Wangulu’s crosses twice missing the target by a whisker. Late on with six minutes left, Felix Ochieng came close with a shot from distance that was however deflected for a corner.

Sofapaka withstood the late pressure to ensure they get off the road with maximum points and finish the first leg on a high.

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SOFAPAKA LINEUP AGAINST CHEMELIL FC

We lineup, for 1st leg round 17 match against Chemelil fc at Chemelil Sports Complex, Chemelil on Saturday 09th March 2019 for the Sportpesa Premier League Championship as presented by our Head Coach John Baraza and the technical bench

Starting eleven include:

Justin Ndikumana .01 
Willis Obayi .03
Faina Jacobs .06
George Maelo .08
Pistone Mutamba .09
Sammy Imbuye .12
Umaru Kasumba .13
Elli Asieche .16 (C)
Titus Achesa .20
Stephen Waruru .22
Brian Magonya .26

SUBSTITUTES

John Avire .40
Richard Aimo .32
Ibrahim Kitawi .28
Ibrahim Kajuba .25
Soter Kayumba .24
Samuel Mutiria .17
Cornelius Juma .07

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DENNIS PLEASED WITH RECOVERY AND RETURN FROM INJURY

Sofapaka midfielder Dennis Odhiambo says he is working hard to get back to top shape after returning to full training this week having been sidelined for close to a month with a knee sprain. Odhiambo returned to light training last week but has been able to integrate with the rest of the pack for this week’s sessions.

“Yeah it has been tough because the injury came at a time when I had picked up very good momentum. But that is how this football career is sometimes and the secret is to work hard and bounce back stronger,” Odhiambo said.

“I am happy to have returned to training and this is such a huge boost. I am working to get my fitness levels up. This weekend’s match might be too soon but hopefully in the next game I will be back 100pc,” further stated the Kenyan international.

He says his target remains to help the team win the Kenyan Premier League title as well as help the national team do well in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) next June.

“There is such an important part of the season that awaits and that is my target. We need to win the league for a second time and also challenge for the FKF Shield. Top of all, I would like to play a role for the national team at AFCON. It has always been my dream and I am glad I am working to be part of the team,” Odhiambo further stated.

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COACH BARAZA PREVIEWS CHEMELIL GAME, GIVES TEAM NEWS

Head coach John Baraza expects the team to finish the second leg on a high but warns it will not be an easy tie away to Chemelil Sugar on Saturday. Sofapaka has beaten Chemelil eight times over 20 meetings and lost four, but Baraza says it has always been tight.

“Chemelil is not an easy team especially at their home ground. It is always tough when we face them and scores are always close. But we have prepared well and everyone is looking fit and sharp. We want to go there and fight for maximum points,” the tactician said.

On how important last week’s victory over KCB was;

“We had come off two games where we had not won and getting those three points was massive to our confidence. I think the boys are now stronger mentally and it gives us courage to face such a tough away game,”

On the team news:

“Mousa Omar is out on suspension after accumulating five yellow cards. Dennis (Odhiambo) has returned to training but we don’t want to risk him for this game especially on a tough field like Chemelil. Kilume (Mohammed) is continuing well with his recovery and we should see him back in training maybe in the next three weeks,”

“Achesa (Titus) is back after serving his one match suspension. We also have Maelo back who was out last week. I am happy that almost 90pc of the team is available,”

On the draw with Bungoma Super Stars in the FKF Shield:

“Last year we lost in the final through our own mistakes but this time we are determined to make things right. This is a chance for us to fight for a place to play continental football and everyone in the team wants to have this chance,”

“Cup tournaments are always tricky especially when you are playing against teams from the lower divisions. It might look easy on paper but football will always be football. We will tackle it with seriousness and also give the other players who haven’t played much in the league an opportunity in this Cup tournament.” 

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