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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Ssibwa vindicated

Gor’s Harun Shakava (L) tries to tackle Sofapaka’s Timothy Luda. /COURTESY
Gor’s Harun Shakava (L) tries to tackle Sofapaka’s Timothy Luda. /COURTESY

It might have seemed absurd for a team that was doing well and still in contention for the league title half-way through the campaign to sign13 new players but the decision by Sofapaka coach Sam Ssibwa has been vindicated emphatically.

Sunday’s 2-0 win of then SportPesa Premier League leaders Gor Mahia went further to show that the 2009 champions are capable of not only challenging for the title they last won in 2009 but might even win it.

Ssibwa had said he was not satisfied to see his team sit just in sixth place but wanted them to compete for trophies, something that they will definitely do if the weekend result is anything to go by. “We want to challenge for trophies against the big sides in the league like Gor, Posta Rangers and Tusker hence the reason why we signed this many new players,” the Ugandan tactician said.

New signing Timothy Ludda slotted in seamlessly in the Sofapaka attack and even scored the killer second goal in his debut match for the winners.

In succumbing to what was only their second defeat of the season, Gor Mahia lost captain Musa Mohammed, who received a straight red card in the 82nd minute, thereby making the burden of making amends even more difficult for K’Ogalo.

Ssibwa’s men rose to fifth spot in the standing just five points shy of top spot now owned by Tusker. The brewers six match win-less streak was halted by sixth placed Kariobangi Sharks but with many of the teams chasing them dropping points on a weekend of half a dozen draws in the fixtures, the points may prove pivotal in the larger scheme of things.

Mathare United continued to prop up the league table after their goal-less draw with AFC Leopards who are begging life under their Romania coach Dorian Marin. The stalemate meant that Mathare have not tasted victory since they ended Gor’s unbeaten run back in April.

Leopards ended their sorry run of five matches losing streak but are yet to win a game since they defeated Thika United in late April.

Ingwe though in 12th position with 16 points are just five points above the dreaded drop zone—occupied by Thika and Western Stima.

Stima picked a crucial point away at Bandari to spare themselves the ignominy of returning to the bottom of the table.

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