Eyes on top spot as Mathare tackle Homeboyz

Friday January 18 2019

Mathare United forward Cliff Nyakeya (left) vies for ball with Tusker midfielder Sempala Hashim during their SportPesa Premier League match at Ruaraka grounds on January 12, 2018. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |

Mathare United forward Cliff Nyakeya (left) vies for ball with Tusker midfielder Sempala Hashim during their SportPesa Premier League match at Ruaraka grounds on January 12, 2018. PHOTO | SILA KIPLAGAT |  NATION MEDIA GROUP

VINCENT OPIYO
By VINCENT OPIYO
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Former Kenyan champions Mathare United will be seeking to reclaim the top spot when they take on struggling Kakamega Homeboyz at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on Saturday.

Bandari leapfrogged Mathare at the summit of the SportPesa Premier League standings on 18 points after their 1-0 win over Posta Rangers in Mombasa on Thursday. Mathare are one point behind in second place.

Under-pressure Paul Nkata leads Homeboyz, who drew 1-1 at home with Zoo Kericho last weekend, come up against high-flying Mathare - who beat 11-time champions Tusker 2-1 in their last outing last Saturday.

Both sides have won two matches each while four games have ended in a draw in their last eight meetings.

“It’s going to be tough but we are ready for them, we know they are enjoying a good form unlike us who are rebuilding after losing 12 players,” said Nkata, whose charges have garnered eight points in seven games.

Homeboyz fell 2-0 away to Mathare and drew 0-0 at home last season.

Mathare coach Francis Kimanzi is enjoying his youthful side’s seven-match unbeaten run after three years of assembling the squad. The other sides yet to taste defeat in the league this term are Bandari and Kariobangi Sharks.

“They’ve to show passion to win more matches having been together for a while,” noted Kimanzi.

In other matches, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) will be out to win their second successive win against cash-strapped Vihiga United at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.

The bankers shocked AFC Leopards 1-0 last weekend in Nakuru for their first win of the campaign.

Veteran John Baraza leads Sofapaka from the dugout after being handed the reigns on interim basis following the resignation of Medo Melis in the late kick-off against Sony Sugar at the same venue.

On Sunday, sixth-placed Tusker visit four-time champions Ulinzi Stars at Afraha Stadium where a win will send them back to third position on 16 points.

“We are definitely going for three points,” Tusker coach Robert Matano confided. “We’ve rectified the mistakes that cost us in the last game (against Mathare United) and we are ready to revisit the standards we’ve set for ourselves this season.”

The soldiers coach Dunstan Nyaudo is wary of the threat posed by the brewers.

“Their coach, Matano (Robert) was here and he knows a few things about Ulinzi Stars and he will want to exploit that. The advantage is two – way though; we also know his tactics and we will try counter them,” said Nyaudo, who led Ulinzi to a 2-1 win away to Sony Sugar last weekend.

WEEKEND FIXTURES

Saturday

KCB v Vihiga United (Kenyatta stadium, Machakos, 2pm)

Sofapaka v Sony Sugar (Kenyatta stadium, Machakos, 4.15pm)

Mathare United v Kakamega Homeboyz (MISC Kasarani, 3pm)

Sunday

Western Stima v Nzoia Sugar (Moi stadium, Kisumu, 3pm)

Ulinzi Stars v Tusker (Afraha stadium, 3pm)

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