Red-hot Baraza leads golden boot hunt

May 17, 2012
  • Sofapaka striker John Baraza.(Photo:File)

It could be rightly termed as the re-emergence of tested and trusted hitman.Like good wine that gets better with age, former Kenyan international striker John Baraza is out to prove that his scoring touch is still razor sharp.

On Wednesday night, the Sofapaka marksman hit his second consecutive brace with surgical precision as Batoto ba Mungu coasted to a 2-1 win over a crisis-hit AFC Leopards.

Against Leopards, the 32-year old forward displayed incisive predatory instincts laced with the agility of an 18-year old.

The first of his two goals was delivered with great panache. Ugandan international midfielder Musa Mudde lofted a beautiful cross from the right wing into the box which Baraza met with a diving header that gave Patrick Matasi no chance.

Baraza’s second was executed with ruthless efficiency. Leopards’ defence was guilty of ball watching as the predatory marksman latched on to a loose ball in the box, spun and shot on target.

Coup de grace! Predictably, the two time golden boot winner's (2009 and 2010) won him plaudits from his elated coach Salim Ali.

“Baraza is great. He is our main goal scorer and he is destined for the top if he maintains the same form”, Ali said.

On the converse, the last four weeks have been nightmarish for Leopards. Within this period, Ingwe have seen a 10-match unbeaten run shattered setting in motion a poor run of four matches without a win.

The winless streak has seen Ingwe falling off their high perch where they have been supplanted by Sofapaka.

The latest twist in the crisis at Ingwe’s den was the formation of a caretaker management committee earlier in the week by Federation Football Kenya ,FKF to run the affairs of the club after a court injunction barred the current office bearers, led by chairman Alex Ole Magelo, from transacting business on behalf of the team.Magelo has since stepped down from his position. 

For Sofapaka, things couldn’t have been better. After a slow start to the current campaign, Batoto ba Mungu are now firmly in the driving seat with Baraza leading the scorers chart with a massive haul of 12 goals.

The win guaranteed Batoto ba Mungu a top place finish as the first leg matches conclude this weekend. Sofapaka leads the pack with 32 points followed by Tusker on 28 points, albeit with a match in hand.

Leopards are third with 27 points but could fall further behind at the weekend if the on-form Thika United, with whom they are level on points, beats Nairobi City Stars.

 

Nesta Kizito

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