The Kenyan Premier League battle between Sofapaka and AFC Leopards later today will rekindle memories of perhaps the most dramatic match the league has witnessed thus far.
In their first leg league meeting on a certain Sunday, June 7 this year at Nyayo Stadium, Leopards were forced to slot Ugandan striker Karim Ndungwa – who has since left the club – in goal and also field a much-weakened side after a good number of the club’s first-team players boycotted the match while demanding their salaries and allowances.
The delayed kickoff however didn’t have the ending that everyone must have thought as Leopards found something in them that inspired them to a 1-0 victory, Abdoul Yoroud scoring an own goal. The final say however belonged to Ndungwa who penned a touching signature in the match, saving a penalty in the 82nd minute to salvage the three points for his side.
The happenings of that match will ring true when the duo come face to face for the last time this season. Coincidentally, Leopards’ preparation for this rematch has once again been dogged by similar circumstances but there’s every indication they will have all their players available (injuries permitting) in the 4pm kickoff at City Stadium.
Leopards’ last match ended in a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Tusker in the KPL Top 8 while Sofapaka triumphed over Chemelil in the same competition.
Sofapaka and Ingwe are suffering a dip in form in the league, both having won only once in their last 6 games, leaving this battle tossed up in the air.
Zdravko Logarusic’s side have won four of the last 6 meetings with Sofapaka who will be aiming to avoid a second double defeat against Ingwe.
Batoto ba Mungu’s caretaker boss, David Ouma, however hinted that the match is not so much of a priority.
“The league is already decided so it would make more sense to concentrate in the Knockout competition where we know you have a chance of winning a trophy and money, but that doesn’t mean that we shall not put our best foot forward,” he told KPL.
For AFC Leopards assistant boss Ezekiel Akwana, however, the feeling is different. “I am sure they (Sofapaka) will up their game when they face us and we will play with all our red lights on as we hunt for a win to stay in the top half of the table,” he said.
Tickets for the 4pm kickoff at City Stadium will be sold at Kshs. 200 for the terraces and Kshs. 500 for the VIP section.
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