Phoenix Wazito rise from the ashes as Sofapaka continue to look for elusive win

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 08:16 | By
Sony Sugar’s Yusuf Muhammed (left) vies for the ball against Wazito’s Michael Oduor during their Kenyan Premier League match at Kenyatta stadium in Machakos on Saturday. PD/KELLY AYODI (SPORTPICHA)

Wazito FC proprietor Ricardo Bardoer and his Sofapaka counterpart Elly Kalekwa are birds of the same feather in that they cannot stomach under-achieving squads.

During the June transfer window, Wazito went on a shopping spree of some of the best players locally and abroad but when the team went three matches without a win, Badoer sensed danger.

That Badoer goes nuts when the club loses was a well documented footnote last year when Wazito were playing in the National Super League before being promoted to the top-tier action.

On the material day, Wazito lost to Talanta when the Swedish investment banker was on vacation in Dubai after which he gave the players a thorough dressing down while demanding for improvement. Badoer’s temperament cannot be taken for granted as over a week ago, he promptly sacked the team’s Technical Director Stanely Okumbi and Head Coach Fred Ambani over dismal league results in the top tier league.

Finally, Wazito remembered how to win as they outweighed  Sony Sugar 4-3 in Machakos at the weekend in a result which places the team in the 11th position of the standings with 10 points from eight matches.

Certainly, this is a result which should please Wazito’s handlers especially given that the team had failed to record success in their last three matches to the chagrin of their fans.

A week ago, Kalekwa, who is of an ilk not dissimilar to Badoer’s, expressed concern with Batoto Ba Mungu’s floundering fortunes despite the team enjoying a 35 Million sponsorship package from Betika.

Its perceptible that the team’s coach Divaldo Alves is under immense pressure to turn round the team’s fortunes but for all his troubles, he ought to be commended after the team held Kakamega Homeboyz to a 2-2 draw at the difficult hunting grounds of Bukhungu in Kakamega on Sunday.

During a weekend in which Kenya’s emissaries in CAF Cup play-offs Gor Mahia and Bandari were eliminated, Tusker cashed in on the absence of K’Ogalo to leap-frog them at the top of the standings, thanks to a 3-2 win over Nzoia Sugar in Machakos. 

Although they have played more matches than Gor, what is evident is that Tusker have showed glimpses of rediscovering the form that saw them lift the title in 2016. 

Another potential title contender AFC Leopards dropped to the third place after battling to a barren draw with Ulinzi Stars in a match of fluctuating fortunes at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.

As it stands, Leopards will need to win matches to have a realistic chance of overtaking Tusker and Gor. 

In the meantime, the ‘lifeless’ streak of Chemelil Sugar and Kisumu All Stars continued when they shared the spoils at 1-1 at Chemelil Complex. 

They are the only teams yet to win a match since the league kicked off on August 30.

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