Sofapaka fall to City Stars as Akwana is suspended

May 05, 2011

Nairobi City Stars registered their second upset in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) gunning down Sofapaka 1-0 at City Stadium in a midweek Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match.

The loss could have prompted the decision to suspend assistant coach Ezekiel Akwana on thursday.

Sofapaka is accusing Akwana  and team manager Ben Matindi of undermining head coach Francis Kimanzi who has just registered a single win out of the four he has been incharge.

Sofapaka President Elly Kalekwa said Akwana will be out for one month as the club assesses his conduct. Akwana was demoted to the position of assistant coach after taking over the club last October when Ugandan Sam Ssimbwa left the club due to poor results.

“we have suspended him due to indiscipline and lack of cooperation. He is not working together with the senior coach and players whch is against our rules at Sofapaka,” said Kalekwa at the club’s offices in Nairobi.

Akwana is credited with leading Sofapaka over Ismailia when they won 4-2 in the second round of their Confederations Cup match one month ago.

Akwana on Thursday denied undermining his boss and insisted that Kimanzi has never complained over the same though other reports indicated that a section of the players were not happy with the appointment.

In wednesday’s game Sofapaka paid for not starting with their best players opting to rest them for Sunday's CAF Confederation Cup match against Congolese club St Eloi Lupopo. Though coach Francis Kimanzi later brought in Francis Baraza and Bob Mugalia to strengthen the attack, which had remained blunt in the entire first, half it did not help much as a determined City Stars frustrated all their efforts.

Tiny Ugandan born striker Jimmy Bagaye was a thorn in the Sofapaka defence. He won a free kick on the edge of their opponents box when he was brought down by James Situma but George Odari was not so accurate with the resultant free kick two minutes into the second half.

Seven minutes later, Bagaye initiated a brilliant move resulting in his team's all-important goal. He set up Fred Okello to score after displacing his tight markers.

Thomas Wanyama,the younger brother of Inter Milan midfielder Macdonald Mariga nearly equalized immediatly on resumption but was stopped by an advancing City Stars marker for a fruitless corner.

City Stars coach said the result marks the end of their losing streak in the competition. "It is a happy day for us and we hope it is the end of our nightmare," he said.

Odhiambo is however worried that his players may not maintain the same form considering that they have been struggling against average sides. "I think my players underrate this clubs and that is why we have been able to win only against bigger clubs. But they are young and i have to talk to them to take every match seriously," he added.

Three weeks ago, City Stars who have been at the bottom of the standings for a good part of this season upset Gor Mahia 1-0 at the same venue in what was expected to be a turn around for the club but it was never to be.

Meanwhile,Chemelil Sugar have appointed Edward Manoah as head coach to take over from Nick Yakhama who left the club for Afc Leopards. Manoah is not new at the club having lead them to second spot in the national league in 2005.  

Gina Tivona

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