Eighteen-time champions Gor Mahia play one of their pending games against Sofapaka in Kisumu today looking to return to the top of the table.
The magnitude of the fixture is significant to both Gor Mahia who are angling for a return to the league summit and to Baraza’s who is itching to prove his mettle since confirmation as Sofapaka head coach. The 2009 league champions are in unfamiliar 9th place after seventeen games.
The team has blown hot and cold since Baraza replaced Divaldo Alves and collected just eight points out of a possible fifteen in the last five games. Their one all draw with Chemelil Sugar last weekend sums up Sofapaka’s decline this season.
Against K’Ogalo, Baraza will be seeking redemption against a side that has plundered seven goals in their last two games. Gor Mahia powered past stricken Chemelil Sugar 4-0 before thumping Bandari 3-0 in Afraha last weekend.
Victrory will prop Gor Mahia back to the league summit where Kakamega Homeboyz currently sits. Coach Steven Polack received a major boost last week when the club signed left back Michael Apudo from Posta Rangers.
The dreadlocked defender paid instant dividends when he got on the scoresheet with a long range effort on his K’Ogalo debut. “The team is focused and players know wjat is required of them. The main goal is to win each game as we move towards retaining the league title and that calls for hard work in training, which the players have shown up to now,” Polack said
However, he avoided the simmering controversy over new signings at the club. The Englishman was embroiled in a supremacy battle over who has the last say on new arrivals. K’Ogalo have so far signed five players with just Apudo featuring.
Ghanaian midfielder who arrived from Asante Kotoko and Ugandan striker Juma Balinya signed from Young Africans of Tanzania have been registered but are yet to appear on the team sheets. Today’s roster for the game will be an indicator of the directions the club takes on new signings. Balinya has been cleared and is free to feature for K’Ogalo after his international transfer certification was approved. Owusu’s move has not been confirmed yet.
Gor Mahia are favorites against Sofapaka having beaten them in four of their last five meetings with Sofapaka managing a three-all draw in 2018. K’Ogalo have scored eleven goals against Sofapaka in those five games with Sofapaka managing to score twice against K’Ogalo.
There is so much at stake for Baraza in the match and he will throw all he has at K’Ogalo to avert the wrath of a club owner that has previously meted out ruthless culls on underperforming coaches.