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WALKING A TIGHTROPE: Former league champions Sofapaka yet to win after four KPL matches

FOOTBALL By Gilbert Wandera | March 15th 2016
Sofapaka FC players at half time during their Sportpesa Premier League against Posta Rangers FC at Safaricom Stadium Kasaranim on saturday, March 5, 2016. PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD.

Just where did it all go wrong for former Kenyan Premier League champions, Sofapaka?

In 2009, the ‘Batoto ba Mungu’ entered another mark in the history books of Kenyan football when they won the league hardly 10 months after they were promoted to top-flight football.

Before then, no other Kenyan club had won the league in its first year after promotion. Even though the team has never repeated the 2009 feat, they have always finished among the top five.

Furthermore, the club has, with the exception of last season, won some silverware. Three years ago, Sofapaka made history when they knocked Ismailia out of the Confederations Cup. Once again, no local club had eliminated an Egyptian club from the continental championships.

But this season, things seem to be getting worse for the club. They have not won in 360 minutes of top-fight football and if things don’t change, fast, they could be fighting relegation battle in November.

Their latest loss was against Bandari on Sunday when they went down 1-0. The club lost 5-2 to Mathare United in their third match, the biggest loss by a Kenyan club so far.

Sofapaka’s poor performance can be as a result of losing several key players in the transfer window. They engaged services of inexperienced and young players. Despite their bad start, coach David Ouma is confident the tide will soon change.

“The fact is we lost some good players and we are in the process of rebuilding a new side. When we won the first match against Ushuru, everyone stood up and started taking us seriously and since then, they always come out strongly against us,” he said.

Ouma, who insists they are not even thinking about relegation, said he hopes the team will turn around their poor performance.

“It is too early to start worrying about relegation, but I hope things will turn around quickly. It is never too easy to lose four matches in a row and this makes things difficult for us,” he said.

Ouma insists despite the losses, his team has been creating chances and for that, he is satisfied.

“When you watch our match against Bandari, we created so many chance while they got just one, which they utilised. That is what we are working on.”

Elsewhere, new Gor Mahia coach Jose Marcelo Ferreira is in the country and is ready to take over at the club.

The Brazilian arrived yesterday morning to hold talks with Gor Mahia officials and is expected to start work this week.

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