KPL sides wary of threat posed by lower-tier clubs

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Saturday, February 15th 2020 at 08:00 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia FC's Kenneth Muguna (left) and Mohamed Kilume of Sofapaka FC during KPL round 20 match at Narok Stadium on Saturday. Sofapaka FC won 3-1. Feb 8, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs are leaving nothing to chance in their quest to win the FKF Shield Cup that enters round 32 today.

Ten top clubs led by domestic cup record winners AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia and holders Bandari will be in action against lower-tier clubs this weekend.

With the league taking shape and the duo of title-chasers Tusker and Kakamega Homeboyz having opted out of the tournament to try and end K’Ogalo’s dominance in the league, the Shield presents most of the participating KPL teams a perfect chance to win silverware.

And even as the KPL clubs dream of lifting the oldest trophy in the country that will come with Sh2 million in prize money, they are wary of the threat posed by the lower-tier teams.

Fresh from inflicting the third defeat of the season on Gor (3-1), Sofapaka will be hoping to avoid an upset against little-known Balaji EPZ at Camp Toyoyo today (4pm) as they seek to claim their fourth domestic cup. But the highlight of the weekend will be tomorrow with both AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia facing tests against Elim and Naivas in Kitale (3pm) and Kasarani (3.30pm) respectively.

Gor Mahia’s encounter will be preceded by an early kick off between 2018 winners Kariobangi Sharks and Kenpoly as holders Bandari take on KSG Ogopa in Machakos.

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And Gor captain Kenneth Muguna believes the fixture against Naivas could be a turning point for his side this season.

“Though things have not been good for us in the last two matches, we are still positive and confident of turning around the results,” Muguna told Standard Sports.

“I’m not surprised with what is happening in the team at the moment because I knew at some point of the season we will go through such challenges. But it is time for us to show our strength and bounce back.”

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