Paka up game
SOFAPAKA revived their hunt for their second Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title after reclaiming their third spot on the standings, thanks to a 4-1 humbling of Thika United. The win puts Batoto Ba Mungu level on 36 points with second placed defending champions Tusker who have a game in hand. It was also an individual achievement for Sofapaka’s two-time KPL Golden Boot winner John Baraza who extended his tally of the season with a brace.
Baraza is now on 16 goals, six better of Thika’s Kepha Aswani. AFC Leopards, who subbed the Top 8 clash against arch-rivals Gor Mahia, still cling onto the lead with 40 points from 19 matches. The loss to Sofapaka saw Thika fall from third to fifth with 33 points, same as former champions Ulinzi FC, who command a better goal difference.
Most significant from the weekend results was the battle to avoid the drop. Muhoroni beat Oserian FC 1-0 to jump to position 14 with 19 points. The losers remain rooted at the basement of the log with 15 points. Rangers, who managed their second win of the league over Sony Sugar last Friday, are still in the danger zone occupying position 15 with just a point better of Oserian.
Mathare United improved on their chances to make their league status felt when they held on to their nerves to see off a tricky Western Stima side at Bukhungu. United are now placed 12th with 22 points while Stima are still seventh with 26 points, level with eighth placed Karuturi Sports, who drew 1-1 with KCB. Meanwhile, the national under 20 side kicked off their Africa Youth Championships campaign with a barren draw away to Egypt in Cairo on Sunday night. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chairman Sam Nyamweya observed that the draw against the highly fancied Egyptians is a move in the right direction for the youngsters as they seek to host them in a return match on August 11 in Nairobi. The 18th edition of the continental championships will be held in Algeria next year.