Sofapaka axe nine as transfer window opens
Webster Nyandika and Charles Thuku
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier League side Sofapaka has axed nine players and lined up international and former striker Timothy Otieno as one of their priority signings as the local transfer window opened at midnight.
The 2009 champions hoped to stamp their authority in the league this season as they seek to redeem their lost glory, but they currently find themselves in an awkward eighth position with 10 points from eight matches, a feat that has forced club president Elly Kalekwa to rush to the market and sign top players as he hopes to salvage the situation and win the league title with the remaining fixtures.
Players who have already been issued with letters are said to have left by mutual agreement.
They include former KCB defender Jacobs Faina, defender Bryson Juma who was signed in November from second tier Soy United, midfilders David Simiyu and Collins Wakhungu, goalkeeper Isaiah Wakasala, Ghanian striker Jedinak Nana and Nigeria goal getting duo of Michael Karamor and Promise Chinoso.
After narrowly missing the signature of internal Masood Juma on Friday, ‘Batoto Ba Mungu’ have now shifted their focus on goal getter Otieno who is believed to have terminated his deal with Zambian side Napsa Stars to travel back to Nairobi and seal the move.
Senegal national goalkeeper Pape Seydou Ndiaye is also expected in the country today to complete his move to the team that has been struggling in the goalkeeping sector, as they have so far conceded 11 goals in eight matches.
Meanwhile, although it is too early to brand them as defeatists in the 2020/21 League, things are not going well on the pitch for Zoo Kericho and Western Stima who are gracing the lower reaches of the standings.
The two teams are on a downward trajectory and are the only ones which have yet to win a match which has raised a lot of concern by their faithful.
Since being reinstated in the top flight league, Zoo have found the going rather tough and have only managed identical draws against Bandari and Posta Rangers.
The waterloo of the Kericho side came last weekend when they fell 2-1 to Tusker which was their second defeat since slumping 2-0 to Mathare United.
Coincidentally, Stima share the same woes with Zoo and are grappling with the fact that it’s the team which has lost the highest number of matches in the season which stand at six.
Zoo’s misfortune against Tusker gifted the latter a chance to close in on league leaders Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) who have been on the driving seat for the last three weeks.
Apparently, it was a weekend which Kariobangi Sharks would wish to forget in a hurry after losing by two unanswered goals to AFC Leopards in Kasarani as red-hot Ingwe striker Elvis Rupia helped himself to one thus bringing his tally in the season to nine.
Since joining Leopards from Zambia’s Power Dynamos, Rupia has been a stand-out player for the blue and white ensemble and has scored in almost every match and at this rate, he will be among the contenders for the Golden Boot Award.
Following the conquest over Sharks, Leopards moved to the fourth position in the chart with 15 points from seven matches played.
Fifth placed Sharks have amassed the same number of matches but with an inferior goal aggregate.
In the meantime, after their record was smashed by Leopards, Kenya Commercial bank (KCB) found their footing in style by beating Western Stima 3-1, a result which saw the bankers maintain their lead with 21 points.
Tusker are a point shy in the second position but the advantage by KCB is that they have played a match less and will bridge a four-point gap assuming they shall win it.
Kakamega Homeboyz was yet another successful team in the rather busy weekend as they won their first match by dismissing new-comers Bidco United 2-0 at Bukhungu Stadium.
Although they gave their fans something to enthuse about, Homeboyz, who were the runners-up last season will need to keep working hard to lift themselves from an odd 15th position in the standings.
The most shocking of the weekend results was Vihiga United beating Gor Mahia 1-0
Full weekend results-Mathare United 0-0 Bandari, Wazito 2-1 Nzoia Sugar, or Mahia 0-1 Vihiga United, Posta Rangers 0-0 Ulinzi Stars, Sofapaka 1-0 City Stars, Zoo Kericho 1-2 Tusker.