Akwana in Bandari test as stuttering Gor face Chemelil
Interim AFC Leopards Coach, Ezekiel Akwana, will be put to the test on Saturday when his charges face Bandari FC in Mombasa as the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) action resumes on Saturday after a two weeks’ international break.
Ingwe fired Belgian Coach, Ivan Minnaert, on September, 1 following a string of poor results that saw the club gradually sink down the KPL log.
Run away league leaders, Tusker FC, have a chance to open a wider gap at the summit of the KPL table should they win against Ushuru on Sunday while stuttering Gor Mahia FC face a resurgent Chemelil Sugar FC.
Leopards Team Manager, Joseph Milimu, has acknowledged the going could get even tougher if they fail to get a win against the Dockers, but expressed optimism in the calm that is slowly returning to the camp after Minnaert’s departure.
“The atmosphere in training is positive. Minnaert was a good coach but was simply unable to take control of the dressing room and as a club that cost us dearly. Akwana understands the club very well so we trust he can turn things around,” Milimu told Citizen Digital.
Kepha Aswani is available for selection after his trails with Ethiopian club Addis Ababa City FC, while Paul Mungai Kiongera remains sidelined due to injury.
Only one point separates the two sides, with Ingwe at position ten (29 points) while Coach Ken Odhiambo’s Bandari lie at position 11.
K’Ogalo’s house has been a divided one in recent weeks, with a simmering crisis between Head Coach, Marcelo ‘Ze Maria’ Ferreira, and the club’s goalkeepers’ trainer Matthew Ottamax dominating the headlines. On the pitch, the 15-time champions have struggled to get positive results on the pitch, with their last win coming in the month of July.
Chemelil Coach, Francis Braza, fresh from winning KPL Coach of the month award, is plotting an upset against defending champions, Gor, with a win likely to see them leap to second on the log if Mathare United draws at Sony Sugar on Sunday.
“I don’t want to talk about the title, but I am concentrating my thoughts on how to get three points against Gor Mahia. We have been on a good run, which we want to continue when we face them,” the former Harambee Stars international said.
Gor will be without suspended Burundi international defender Karim Nzigiyamana, in their effort to better the barren stalemate they recorded in the reverse fixture in the first leg.
Ulinzi Stars and Sofapaka will lock horns in Afraha, John Baraza leading the 2009 champions from the dug-out as head coach David Ouma is out with Harambee Starlets in Uganda. It will be another test for the Batoto ba Mungu in their fading campaign to remain in the topflight, while the Soldiers will be without their ailing coach Robert Matano.
With only seven matches to go, Sofapaka are stuck in the red zone only a point above Nairobi City Stars, who have 14. The later have a date with Western Stima in an early kick-off on Sunday.
Bandari vs AFC Leopards (3PM)
Muhoroni vs Kakamega Homeboyz (3PM)
Gor Mahia vs Chemelil (3PM)
Ulinzi vs Sofapaka (2PM)
Nairobi City Stars vs Western Stima (2PM)
Ushuru vs Tusker (4:15PM)
Posta Rangers vs Thika United (3PM)
Mathare United vs Sony Sugar (3PM)