THE result of the Ulinzi Stars versus Sofapaka clash at Afraha Stadium on Sunday will dominate the headlines rather than the entrance of coach Stewart Hall being in charge, for the first time, of Sofapaka.
If Sofapaka win, they will be on 43 points and within perfect striking distance of Tusker Premier League leaders AFC Leopards, just two points ahead.
For Ulinzi Stars, victory is paramount. They are currently eight points off the top and things would be slipping away if they get anything less than three points from this home match.
Englishman Hall, formerly of Tanzania club, Azam, has put out the regular Sofapaka side with the exception of peferring to begin with part-time starters Heretier Luvualu and Danson Kago instead of Bob Mugalia and Joseph Nyaga.
On paper Sofapaka have a more capable attack, complete with John Baraza the league’s top scorer on 17 goals.
Evans Amuoka, the Ulinzi skipper in the middle of the park is creative but his side’s hopes will rest on the usually erratic finishing approach of winger Stephen Waruru and big striker Wycliffe Ochomo who have not had much goal-scoring success this season.
ULINZI STARS - 28. Jacktone Odhiambo: 4. Kevin Ouma,15. Richard Chege, 5. Josiah Okelo, 8. James Mulinge, 6. Eric Apul, 7. Evan Amuoka (captain), 9. George Otieno, 3. Wycliffe Ochomo, 29. Stephen Ochola, 22. Stephen Waruru
Reserves - 1. James Saruni, Gk; 2. Geoffrey Kokoyo, 19. Oliver Ruto, 27. George Oyoo, 10. Ismail Ibrahim, 11. Lawrence Owino, 20. Chester Okoyo
Coach - Sammy Simiyu [Kenya]
SOFAPAKA - 39. Duncan Ochieng’: 11. Anthony Kimani, 14. James Situma (captain), 5. Edgar “Fighter” Ochieng’, 40. Eugene Asike, 45. Collins Okoth, 2. Osborne Monday, 20. Humphrey Mieno, 22. Heretier Luvualu, 13. Danson Kago, 13. Danson Kago
Reserves - 29. David Okelo, Gk; 21. John Njoroge, 35. Felly Mulumba, 9. Bob Mugalia, 30. Joseph Nyaga, 17. Elly Asieche, 18. Demonde Selenga
Coach - Stewart Hall [England]
* * * *
Referee - Isaac Ochieng’
Assistant ref - Dorcas Wanza
Asst ref - Stephen Oduor
Reserve ref - Stephen Muko
Match commissioner - Zach Wandeyi
RESULTS & FIXTURES:
Sofapaka 0-0 Tusker
Nairobi City Stars 1-1 Mathare United
Western Stima 2-1 AFC Leopards
Thika United 4-0 Rangers
3.00pm: (6)Ulinzi Stars v (5)Sofapaka [Afraha] * “live” TV
3.00pm: (8)Chemelil Sugar v (16)Oserian [Chemelil]
4.00pm: (12)KCB v (3)Tusker [City Stadium] * TV
Eric MURANGA [Rangers] Two (2) red cards in a season, to miss match No. 192, Thika v Rangers [Thika Stadium] and KCB v Rangers [City Stadium]