Sofapaka enter continental fray
GOtv Shield champions Sofapaka return to continental football on Sunday afternoon with a match against Zimbabwe’s FC Platinum at the Nyayo National Stadium.
Batoto ba Mungu are eager to erase the painful memories of their Champions League encounter four years ago where they narrowly missed an opportunity to advance to the group stages.
Coach Sam Timbe has backed his team to beat their opponents and advance to the next round, although he told Nairobi News that they will apply caution when tackling the Zvishavane-based team.
“Every team that has been drawn in the confederations cup list has proven themselves in their countries which means they are a good side. However, I also believe that we are a strong side so we shall do our best in the match and hope that we get positive results,” he said.
The 2009 KPL champions lost 1-2 to Gor Mahia in the season curtain raiser last Wednesday, but coach Timbe played down the result, saying the match gave them an opportunity to correct their frailties in time for Sunday’s match.
“That was our first loss since we began our pre-season training and I think it was a fair result because now we know what to work on before we embark on the real assignment on Sunday,” Timbe said after the Wednesday match.
Timbe’s boys will rely heavily on their proven striking abilities that saw them finish the 2014 as the highest goal scoring team, with Enock Agwanda, Abdoul Fiston and Ekaliani Ndolo all fit and eligible for the match.
Timbe will however expect marquee signing Kevin Omondi to quickly get his form back after he became the first player to be pulled out of Wednesday’s match after failing to show class.
Their opponents, who finished fourth in the league but clinch the domestic cup, are known for their scoring prowess as well, and it will be upon Sofapaka’s defenders Felly Mulumba, Collins Shivachi and new comer Willis Ouma to keep the opposing strikers at bay.
The visiting team held a training session on Saturday morning at Ruaraka. They have a good blend of youth and experience in the squad and coach by Norman Mapeza says that morale is high in the team.
“There is excitement in the camp. We have not travelled as a team outside Zimbabwe since 2012 and the boys are excited and confident that they will do well in Kenya. We have had only one day to acclimatize and we hope for a good result,” Mapeza was quoted by Zambian website News Day.