Gor, Sofapaka go head-to-head

May 11, 2011

There couldn't have been a better time for this particular run-in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title race.

Batoto ba Mungu are still transfixed after dispensing off DR Congo's St Eloi Lupopo while K'Ogalo is engaged in a desperate act of fire-fighting. 

Nyayo National Stadium will on Wednesday evening provide the perfect stage for the two title contenders to renew hostilities under the night sky.

Coming in the backdrop of that historic performance by Batoto ba Mungu and the minor crisis at camp K'Ogalo, the profile of this showdown that produces fireworks on any day has been heightened a notch higher. 

Listening to the coaches, you get the impression that daggers have been drawn for another bare-knuckled fight.

“We have prepared well for the match. There are only three results in a match. A win, draw or loss and a coach always goes for the best result”,said Zico. 

The barrage of criticism that he has lately been directed at him from the fans don't bother him either. 

“I don’t answer my critics through the press. Those claiming that we are under-performing should ask themselves in what position we finished last season and where we are at the moment”.

Ironically, laboured 1-0 win over Bandari on Saturday only helped to stoke the flames of disaffection within the club loyalists. 

On the converse, Sofapaka's Francis Kimanzi finally vindicated himself after an initially slow takeover with that edge-of-the-seat clincher against the Congolese team on Sunday evening.

Characteristically, the Dutch-trained tactician takes exception with the notion that his team is struggling in the title race.

“Who said that we are struggling? You people in the media can write whatever you so wish to report”, he replied curtly.

The only source of worry for Kimanzi, though, is what he terms as 'congested fixtures'. Indeed, the game against Lupopo was Sofapaka's fifth match within a space of 14 days. 

Gor Mahia on their part have also not been spared the burden and inconvenience of playing rescheduled matches every so often.

And with both teams still in contention of the newly introduced KPL Top 8 tournament, things are only bound to get worse. Folks, welcome to the world of competitive club football!

For now, focus is on the two men. Whereas Zico is walking on very thin ice, Kimanzi is keen to win the confidence of club President Elly Kalekwa. So, who between the two will blink first?

 

Steven Omondi

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