NAIROBI, Kenya, April 12- Sofapaka’s whirlwind fixture glut continues Wednesday evening when they face Sony Sugar in a KPL Top 8 knock-out clash at Nyayo National Stadium.
It will be the fifth game the 2009 league champions will be playing in 17 days and it comes after Rangers handed them a 2-0 defeat on Saturday.
Coach Francis Kimanzi is however, not worried about the fixture congestion noting it was high time local clubs got used to playing at such frequency to develop their game.
“We are among the leagues in Africa that players train more and play less competitive matches which is not good. When I talk about fatigue it’s not because of the matches or the midweek matches, we are talking about players being introduced to something new,” Kimanzi told Capital Sports.
On the match, he stated, “It’s a tournament match, so we all have equal opportunity for this particular knock-out match. Psychologically the players know it’s a different game ball since it’s a knockout game.”
Sony handed Sofapaka their first league defeat when they beat them 2-1 at City Stadium on March 27. The FKL Cup holders then eliminated Egypt’s Ismaily from the CAF Confederation Cup with a 4-0 win that sealed the tie 4-2 aggregate in their favour before beating league leaders Tusker 1-0.
Rangers ended their run at City last Saturday in an outcome Kimanzi blamed on exhaustion on his side that forced him to rest four players.
“We have been training our players without allowing them the required recovery time in pre-season and this is what I’ve been working on since I arrived and it’s going to take time before they get used to it,” he expressed.
Midfielder, Titus Mulama, admitted the lesson they received from Rangers had knocked the stuffing out of them and they were ready to dispel that disappointment against Sony.
“Some of us had no legs especially after 70 minutes and when the first goal went it, it finished them. We have learned how it is to play too often and the defeat has given us motivation to go out there and show what we are capable of.”
The winner of the match will face Western Stima in the semis with Gor Mahia taking on Ulinzi in the other last-four clash.