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Baraza faces first major hurdle as Sofapaka host Sony

Sofapaka interim coach John Baraza faces his first major test since the surprise resignation of Head Coach Sam Ssimbwa on Monday, when he leads the team to an 11th round encounter against a stubborn Sony Sugar in Ruaraka on Sunday.

Sony has been a bogey side to Sofapaka for the last couple of years and it remains to be seen just how the team will fare without Ssimbwa who quit his position in a huff after the team’s shock 2-1 defeat at the hands of Thika United.

Baraza who has been the understudy of the Ugandan tactician for the last two years since quitting playing believes Batoto Ba Mungu have the prospects of doing well in the remaining fixtures.

“Of course, the league is very competitive but my main target is to turn round the fortunes of the team. I want to win the faith of fans and hopefully, we should challenge for the league’s top honours,” said Baraza.

As Sofapaka starts life without Ssimbwa, AFC Leopards will also be hoping to put their troubles aside as they engage Zoo Kericho in the second match of a double-header at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Saturday.

Ingwe players staged a mutiny on Wednesday over a delay by the management to settle their March wages and even threatened not to travel to Kericho before the management sorted out the issue.

Such is the psychological affliction by Leopard players which Zoo should take full advantage of by conjuring up a win to haul themselves from the lower reaches of the league. In the meantime, table-topping Mathare United will be gunning to build a four-point lead over unengaged Gor Mahia with a mouth-watering fixture against Posta Rangers at Camp Toyoyo on Sunday.

Cliff Nyakeya has been in tremendous form at Mathare and the youthful striker alongside Clifford Alwanga and Crispin Oduor are some of the players who will need tight marking by Rangers backline.

But then, Mathare should also be way of Rangers’ Dennis Mukaisi and Joseph Nyagah who can equally cause havoc if let loose.

Elsewhere in Bungoma on Saturday, Nzoia Sugar’s Elvis Rupia who is leading the KPL scorers chart will have a chance to increase his tally when his team comes up against Bandari.

And after going down 1-0 to Gor in a midweek clash, Wazito will only be too eager to vent their anger on Chemelil Sugar. -CHARLES THUKU

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