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Sofapaka vow to ‘stop Gor Mahia’s reggae’

Sofapaka’s Ghanaian forward Jedinak Nana vies for the ball with Gor Mahia’s Mike Apudo during their Kenyan Premier League clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on January 29, 2019. PHOTO/Sofapaka FC/Twitter

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 6 – Sofapaka head coach John Baraza says he feels the club is in the right place to stop Gor Mahia’s dance to another Kenyan Premier League title as the two sides prepare to clash at the Narok Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Sofapaka have beaten Gor only three times in 23 league meetings since they earned promotion in 2009, but Baraza believes they can chalk three points against the reigning champions on Saturday.

“For us, I believe this is the right time to beat Gor. We have such a good team now and the new boys have gelled well and looking at them in training this past week, the morale and motivation is high,” Baraza stated.

He added; “Yes, they are a very good team and are always hard to play with but we also have done our homework right and we will have the right formula to beat them.”

The two sides faced off in Kisumu just eight days ago, with the reigning champions winning 2-1 courtesy of a winner from skipper Kenneth Muguna.

Baraza believes they were at an advantage to win that game, basing on the number of chances they created, but says they have worked to correct that ahead of their next meeting.

Sofapaka head coach John Baraza gestures during a training session at the Eastleigh High School on May 20, 2019. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“We had so many chances in that game but we could not finish. I feel that we were the better side but all in all, we have learnt from our mistakes. We have brought in some new boys in attack and they have already grasped how the Kenyan league is and are ready to step up on Saturday,” stated Baraza.

In 23 meetings, Gor has beaten Sofapaka 12 times and drawn three. Sofapaka last beat Gor in June 2017 when they played in Meru, winning 2-0.

On the log, 17 points separate the two sides, with Gor leading the charge with 44 points with Sofapaka trailing down at ninth. While Gor have won four of their last five games, Sofapaka have won only one, drawing two and losing a similar number.

Ahead of the Gor fixture, Baraza is only worried with the fitness of Ugandan goalkeeper Nicholas Ssebwato who has been injured and missed last weekend’s match against Mathare United.

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“We will monitor him tomorrow and decide whether to field him or not,” Baraza noted.

New Sofapaka assistant coach Mike Mururi after a friendly match at the Camp Toyoyo Ground. PHOTO/Sofapaka/Twitter

Meanwhile, the club has strengthened their technical bench with the arrival of former Kakamega Homeboyz and Chemelil Sugar head coach Mike Mururi who will be Baraza’s number two.

The former Kenyan international had been touted for a move to relegation threatened Kisumu All Stars, but Batoto ba Mungu have hijacked the move, luring him to the city where he will add on to their backroom staff as they look to get their season back on track.

“He is a very good coach and also someone who understands the Kenyan league and our players. His addition will be massive for the team and together, I believe we can take the team to new heights. He has started work already and I love his input,” Baraza further added.

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