Sofapaka have fate in their hands as they come face to face with Zoo Kericho in their last 2017 Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match at the Narok Stadium on Saturday.
Some of Batoto Ba Mungu ‘s key players have been ruled out of the game due to injuries but be it as it may, the team’s coach Sam Ssimbwa who was on a short sabbatical in his native Uganda remains bullish ahead of the contest.
“We are ready to confront Zoo and as I have always said before, it would almost be catastrophic to fail to grab the number two spot. I may be mistaken for a braggart but I have this strong feeling that victory over Zoo is inevitable,” said Ssimbwa.
The tactician who will turn 51 next month does not hide his gratitude after Sofapaka cobbled up a 1-0 win over Tusker during his absentia and expects the same spirit to be replicated by his charges in the assignment against Zoo.
“You see, there is a strong mentality and hunger to overcome obstacles by my charges and this is very encouraging. If we beat Tusker away, there is absolutely no reason as to why we should not stop Zoo especially given that we will be at home,” offered Ssimbwa who rejoined Sofapaka last Sunday.
As Ssimbwa set the records straight, the flip side is that Sofapaka will miss the services of the injured duo of Hillary Echesa and Bernard Mangoli while another casualty Jonathan Mugubi will undergo fitness tests to ascertain whether he will be available or not.
“Of course, missing such key players is a sad epitaph but then, we have good replacements. I can only say we are desirous to keep the candle aglow,” said Ssimbwa.
For the last couple of days, Sofapaka have been training at Ruiru Stadium which has a desso turf, which is good riddance considering that they will be playing Zoo in a similar surface.
Against Tusker last weekend, Sofapaka were simply in a class of their own and it is on the strength of such renaissance which makes them to be touted as favourites against Zoo.
Among the players who Ssimbwa is likely to summon for the job include skillful Ugandan import Umaru Kasumba, Ezekiel Okare and Maurice Odipo.
Sofapaka’s probable line-up
Mathias Kigonya, Willis Ouma, Maurice Odipo, Kenneth Oduor, Rodgers Aloro, Mohammed Kilume , Micheal Oduor, Timothy Luda, Umaru Kasumba, Samuel Mutiria, Ali Feni.