Although AFC Leopards no longer rule the roost in the domestic football scene, the worst Chemelil Sugar can do is to underestimate them when the two teams face off at the City Stadium in one of the three SportPesa Kenyan Premier League (KPL) matches lined up Saturday.
Ingwe’s hard-to-understand Croatian coach Zdravko Logarusic has always encouraged his players to have a positive attitude that will drive the team to win matches and this was evident when the team gave its all against perennial adversaries Gor Mahia last week in a match that was abandoned in the 63rd minute due to a disputed penalty awarded to K’ogalo.
KPL did award the match to K’ogalo on grounds of AFC Leopards fans having being found guilty of causing the match to end prematurely but the big cats, whose trainer was at the dugout despite a tug of war with the management over unpaid dues, carved a myriad of open scoring chances which is why it could be extremely suicidal for Chemelil to handle them with kid gloves.
For both teams’ fans, however, the unfortunate bit is that the match will be played in closed door as punishment for Leopards whose section of fans was found guilty of causing mayhem during their ill-fated match against Thika United in Thika last month.
Among Leopards players to watch are Bernard Mangoli, Khalid Jumaan, Patrick Kagogo and Solomon Nasio. In the meantime, Gor Mahia’s push for the title continues with a tricky match against Bandari that will be beamed live at the Mombasa County Stadium.
Gor, who edged Bandari 2-1 in the first leg match, have been a marvel to watch with their sleek, short passing game and coach Frank Nutall is unlikely to make major adjustments with the likes of goal scoring machine Micheal Olunga, Meddie Kagere, Abouba Sibomana and Karim Nzigiyimana and shot-stopper Boniface Oluoch probable starters.
The cost of tickets for the match is Sh 500 for the main stand, Sh 300 for wing stand and Sh 200 for the terraces. Elsewhere in Muhoroni, KCB who are facing the danger of relegation for the first time since the club’s inception face the test of hosts Muhoroni Youth.
Placed 14th in the 16th team log, KCB not only soaked in the highest number of goals in their 6-1 thumping by Gor about two weeks ago but dropped more points recently in a barren draw with Sony and nothing short of an outright win over their hosts will appease their fans.
For Muhoroni Coach in ex-Uganda Cranes fullback Paul Nkata, he is expected to field a strong team composed of players like Francis Ocholla, Wycliff Ochomo and George Mandela to do the job while his KCB counterpart Elvis Ayany will be hoping that his lead striker Paul Kiongera and Benjamin Chaka rise to the occasion by banging in goals.