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September 18, 2018

Eyes on the Shield: Sofapaka’s Baraza eyes tournament title after reaching last four

Sofapaka  players during a recent Kenyan Premier League
Sofapaka players during a recent Kenyan Premier League

Sofapaka coach John Baraza believes the team can go all the way and win the Shield competition after knocking out rivals Tusker to reach the last four in the competition.

The former striker turned coach, is happy to have beaten his former coach and mentor Robert Matano, who was in charge of the brewers when Sofapaka beat them 2-1 in a thrilling encounter in Machakos a week ago. “We have a realistic chance of going all the way to win the competition and represent the country in the Caf Confederation Cup next season,” said Baraza.

He is, however, not expecting an easy path to the title despite the absence of giants Tusker and Gor Mahia who were knocked out on the same day.

Gor were stunned 4-2 on post-match penalties by Kariobangi Sharks to end their dream of a treble. Other two teams remaining in the competition are Ulinzi and defending champions AFC Leopards.

“Gor and Tusker could be out of the competition but that doesn’t mean that the remaining teams are going to be a walk in the park. All the teams are tough and that is why they have reached this level. We just have to prepare well and avoid any laxities,” Baraza said. A Shield win for Sofapaka would act as a consolation for them after missing on the league title which has already been won by Gor Mahia.

Batoto Ba Mungu have Piston Mutamba and Dennis Odhiambo Stars in the national team Harmabee Stars squad for today’s international friendly against Malawi. Stars beat Black Stars of Ghana 1-0 in a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier at Moi Stadium, Kasarani.

Though striker Mutamba played no part in the match, utility player Odhiambo played the entire 90 minutes where he was the outstanding player at the centre of midfield, totally outshining Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Pattey. Stars scored in the 39th minute through an own goal by Nicholas Opokwa under pressure from Michael Olunga. Defender Joash Onyango was, however, sent off at the 69th minute after bringing down goal-bound Christian Stay.

 

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