Sofapaka roar as KPL action gathers pace


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By Robin Toskin

There is a new force in town. Sofapaka. While champions Mathare United and KFF Cup holders Gor Mahia were crashing out of Africa, Sofapaka made their dream debut in the top flight.

On the evidence of their 2-0 defeat of Ulinzi Stars on Sunday, KPL coaches will have no choice but to sit up and notice, perhaps, the emergence of an alternative force.

And with other past league champions failing to record 100 percent results on day one, the stage could be set for yet another bruising battle.

Sony Sugar, 2006 winners have lost twice successively at home to KCB and away at Sher. Gor Mahia (13-time champions) fell 1-0 at Ulinzi, Tusker succumbed 3-2 at Red Berets while Mathare United were held 0-0 at home by Sher.

Twelve-time title winners, AFC Leopards crushed 2-0 at Western Stima and their opening match which they were trailing 1-0 away at Nairobi City Stars was called off for security reasons.

Although Sofapaka coach Robert Matano declined to accept Sofapaka as early frontrunners for the title, there was a tinge of confidence behind the smile he wore during the post match interview.

“We cannot say that we are the favourites. But with this performance against a good side as Ulinzi we can only hope to sustain this display,” Matano said.

Sofapaka’s front men Demonde Selenge, Patrick ‘Petit’ Kagogo, Charles Melubo and substitute Bob Mugaliya were a handful for Ulinzi Stars defence.

Their movement caused mayhem for Ulinzi’s back four of Geoffrey Kokoyo, Mulinge ‘Munandi’ Ndeto, Josiah Odhiambo and Antony Nderitu.In Kakamega, AFC Leopards were left to reflect on their future in top flight football after an efficient Western Stima ran away with victory at Bukhungu Stadium.

The former champions who are making a return to the top-tier of club football hope their chastening experience will be stemmed when they face a repeat encounter against Nairobi City Stars after overzealous fans burst the ageing perimeter fence at Hope Centre, Kawangware in Nairobi.

Agro Chemical, third last term, are unbeaten after two rounds but with two only points to their name. Henry Omino’s side drew 1-1 with Red Berets and forced another goalless stalemate at KCB on Sunday.

Red Berets’ 3-2 win over Tusker in Nakuru was the other shock result of the weekend on the day Sher also peppered Sony Sugar 2-0 in Naivasha.

Bandari finally lay to rest the ghosts of their 3-1 loss to Chemelil last season. Douglas Mutua’s men emphatically responded to his hair dryer after 3-0 loss at Thika United last weekend to down Chemelil 2-0 in Mombasa.

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