NAIROBI, Kenya, April 4- Leaders Tusker face their first watershed fixture of the season when they visit resurgent Sofapaka in a rearranged Kenyan Premier League fixture on Tuesday evening.
With the unbeaten brewers resting on a weekend where Sofapaka made history by becoming the first Kenyan outfit to oust an Egyptian club from competition when they thrashed Ismaily 4-0 in the CAF Confederation Cup, Sammy Omolo’s side are wary of the momentum their opponents will carry to Nyayo Stadium.
The 2007 league champions have already intoxicated AFC Leopards (2-0), Congo United (2-1), Mathare United (2-1) and Chemelil Sugar (3-0) to waltz to the perfect start of the 2011 KPL season but following their polished triumph on Saturday, Sofapaka are set to resume their quest for domestic dominance by derailing Tusker.
Former Harambee Stars and Mathare coach, Francis Kimanzi will be in charge for the first game as Sofapaka head coach and will be hoping to mark his debut with a statement of intent for the side lying seventh on the log on seven points with two wins, a draw and loss.
“We must focus now on the league and make up the ground we have lost due to the Confederations Cup. We have a new coach whom I believe will lead us to challenge for the title,” Sofapaka captain, James Situma, said.
A win for his side will see them join second placed Western Stima and Gor Mahia, a position behind on 10 points, congesting the KPL summit early in the season with Sofapaka holding the psychological advantage as they are yet to lose to the brewers since they were promoted to the top flight.
Last year, both sides drew 1-1 in the first leg before Sofapaka won by a solitary goal in the return fixture, a state of affairs replicated in the 2009 season where Tusker lost the away leg 3-2 and drew 1-1 at home.
Stima and Gor Mahia won their weekend fixtures against AFC Leopards and KCB to pile pressure on the league leaders ahead of their moment of truth against Sofapaka.
At Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega, Stima short-circuited Leopards by a lone 23rd minute own goal, with defender Douglas Okumu hanging his head in shame when he deflected Kevin Amwayi’s free-kick to his own net.
Solomon Nasio was the toast for KPL runner-ups K’Ogalo when he got to the end of a neat exchange of passes to tuck in Tony Onyango’s delivery past KCB keeper Caleb Adola for the winning strike just before the break.
Elsewhere in the league, Coast side Bandari who were early candidates for relegation moved up top 12th with a 1-0 win over Sony Sugar at Mbaraki Stadium in Mombasa with neighbours Congo United still winless after going down 2-0 to Karuturi in Naivasha.
Rangers continued to belie their status as a sponsor less club after Posta pulled the plug just before the season kick-off with a polished 2-0 win over visiting Sony Sugar at Nyayo to move up to sixth while Thika United clipped bottom side City Stars 1-0 at City Stadium.
On Saturday, champions Ulinzi Stars recorded their second victory of the season when they stuffed Mathare United at the Afraha Stadium, Nakuru to rise to ninth on seven points.
SuperSport will broadcast the Sofapaka-Tusker tie from 7pm local time (+3GMT).