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Sofapaka coach Ken Odhiambo under pressure as league leaders come calling

FOOTBALL By Rodgers Eshitemi and Elvince Joshua | May 29th 2021 | 3 min read
Dominic Ouma (Left) of Zoo Kericho FC tussles for ball with Timothy Otieno of Sofapaka FC during their FKF-Premier League match at Kasarani Annex on February 10, 2021. [Stafford Ondego, The Standard]

Sofapaka coach Ken Odhiambo has admitted that pressure is growing following a series of poor results in the 2020/21 FKF Premier League campaign.

The 2009 league champions, who are currently 12th on the log with 19 points after losing two matches in a row since restart, clash with league leaders KCB at Ruaraka Grounds today.

Batoto Ba Mungu suffered a 2-1 defeat to Gor Mahia before falling 3-0 to Nairobi City Stars on Monday.

And it is their recent defeat at the hands of City Stars that appears to have put Odhiambo’s future at the club under scrutiny.

While Sofapaka will be seeking to bounce back to winning ways, the bankers will be out to stamp their authority in the league and extend their stay at the top of the table.

Though today’s fixture will not be a walk in the park, the Harambee Stars assistant coach feels the match presents them a perfect chance to end their poor run.

“In football, any loss mounts pressure and so has been our case. Yes, we feel the pressure because expectations are high but we are calm because we understand we are simply out of form. We haven’t had the best of results but we believe we shall soon overturn the results,” said Odhiambo.

Coach Sofapaka FC Ken Odhiambo giving instructions to players during an FKF Premier League clash against Tusker FC at Kasarani on Sunday, Jan 3, 2020. [Jonah Onyango, The Standard]

But Sofapaka will have to do without the services of the injured striker Timothy Otieno and suspended goalkeeper Aigba Moubarak.

“We have put City Stars defeat behind us, we want to forget it as fast as possible to have everyone in the right mindset come Saturday. We are facing an on-form side but this game is so important to us. A win is our priority in this fixture to bring an end to our poor form. The team has depth and quality to compete, we got 15 matches to go and so I believe we shall find our way up the log,” said Odhiambo.

Just like Sofapaka, title-chasing Kariobangi Sharks will be aiming to recover from their loss to Ulinzi Stars (2-0) when they host unpredictable Nairobi City Stars at Utalii Grounds today.

Tomorrow will see joint top AFC Leopards take on Bidco United in what is expected to be a thrilling encounter at Ruaraka as third-placed Tusker battle with Vihiga United in Mumias.

Elsewhere, relegation-threatened Western Stima frustrated Bandari to a 1-1 draw in Kisumu as Kakamega Homeboyz trounced Posta Rangers 3-1 at Ruaraka Grounds.

Ulinzi Stars continued secured their fifth win of the campaign after seeing off Nzoia Sugar 1-0 in Narok.

Clinton Omondi’s second half goal is all that the soldiers needed to take their points tally to 24 and leapfrog Wazito into the eighth spot.

David Odhiambo was the hero at Ruaraka bagging a brace to help Homeboyz end Rangers’ five-game unbeaten run. This was Homeboyz’s second consecutive victory after thrashing Western Stima 4-0.

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