When Sofapaka played Ulinzi Stars at Narok sub- county stadium last Sunday, emotion was palpable on dazzling striker Stephen Waruru who ditched the army side to join Batoto Ba Mungu’s ranks.
While at Ulinzi, Waruru, who had initially attracted interest from Tusker, said he had bonded well with the players and concedes that they were like a family.
“Obviously, facing my former team-mates brought sentiments but in as much as I respect Ulinzi for helping me to navigate through the cut-throat battle of big-time football, I had to get the job done for Sofapaka where I’m currently attached,” said Waruru.
Despite what he felt like facing his blood brother in a battle zone, Waruru had the audacity to make an assist as Sofapaka chalked a 2-1 win over Ulinzi to jump to the second position of the league chart behind Gor Mahia.
Waruru teed up Umaru Kasumba with five minutes remaining on the clock for the Ugandan to end his goal drought, as Sofapaka made their intentions of reclaiming the title they last laid their hands on in 2008.
“Scoring chances in the match were few and far between but I’m glad that we created one which made all the difference. I also think Ulinzi played well only that luck was not on their side. That’s football and a soldier lives to fight another day,” said Waruru.
Although the title chase is far from being thrown wide open considering that Gor are still on top with a 13-point advantage over Sofapaka, the latter need to continue winning and hope the unbeaten K’Ogalo slump at some point.
In the meantime, AFC Leopards kept alive their hopes of winding up in a respectable position by completing a double over Mathare United in Machakos.
Leopards, 4-3 winners over the ‘slum boys’ in the first leg match, may have played the last 25 minutes a man less after Whyvonne Isuza received his marching orders, but the team which is placed fourth duly managed to hold onto their nerves and register maximum points.
In the meantime, Sony Sugar are increasingly drifting away from the relegation zone and on Sunday, they left Thika United nursing more troubles by inflicting them a 3-1 defeat.
Pride of place also goes to Zoo Kericho who posted a rare 2-1 win over Kariobangi Sharks in Nairobi thus inflicting more misery on their hosts who had earlier lost 3-0 to Gor in Kisumu.
Today, Gor will be angling to build a massive 16-point lead when they take on Bandari in a midweek match in Mombasa.
For Bandari who are perched in the third position, a win over Gor will enable them to dislodge Sofapaka from the second position.
After the games, the stadium will provide significant legacy infrastructure for a modern, mixed-used community with stadium’s over 30 years long time manager Daniel Mayaka urging county government to guard the facility jealously and seek alternative fields for local teams training grounds and leave the stadium to host only competitive games since allowing the many teams from the area train and play at the stadium will but see it worn out very fast.
“I would even suggest that the adjacent showground field be transformed into a training ground for Shabana and other teams since Shabana struggle to have their training at Cardinal Otunga High School which is far from town and consequently relocate the showground to another place,” proposed retired stadium manager Daniel Mayaka.