Sofapaka eyes Ingwe scalp

Friday, December 9th, 2022 06:00 | By
Sofapaka coach David Ouma (right) give instructions to players.

Sofapaka coach David Ouma has said he has no choice but instill expertise on marksmanship expertise on his strikers if the team is to sustain a genuine title challenge in the 2022/2023 Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Premier.
Ouma owned up to the fact that Batoto Ba Mungu have not been in their usual selves since the new season started and that two losses and a draw was an embarrassing for a team that won the top-tier league in 2009.
“My strikers have to take their chances if we are to get anything tangible in the league; Period. They cannot continue spurning chances yet we have set certain benchmarks in the campaign,” observed Ouma.
Sofapaka have lost two matches, 2-1 over Bandari and 1-0 against Nzoia Sugar and squeezed a point in a barren draw with Posta Rangers.
Ironically, it was offensive midfielder Joe Waithera who accounted for Sofapaka’s only goal in the campaign with natural strikers in Congolese import Roddie Manga who was sourced from St. Eloi Lupopo, Ugandan Davis Kasirye and Baron Okech all firing blanks to the chagrin of Ouma.
On Saturday at Kasarani Annex, Manga and company have a chance to pacify Ouma and indeed Sofapaka fans when the team comes up against AFC Leopards in one of the six Jamhuri Day weekend fixtures.
The good news for Sofapaka is that Harambee Stars trialist Samuel Olwande, who made an assist in Waithera’s striker against Bandari, is available for selection after recovering from a hamstring injury, so is Geoffrey Ojunga who has fully recuperated from a two-week illness.
But then, Sofapaka ought to anticipate a high noon since they will be up against a youthful and never-say=die Leopards side that scared defending champions Tusker to the bone last weekend despite losing 1-0.
And suggestively, it would be utterly wrong for Tusker to be flattered by earlier sentiments by AFC Leopards coach Patrick Aussiems that the team is not necessarily in the race for the title following the embargo by Fifa to recruit new players.
“I have said before that my philosophy is to let these young players enjoy themselves. Winning the title is too much to ask from them but the sheer bravado they have exhibited against their experienced opponents has been amazing,” said Aussiems.
On Monday, Kenya Police new coach Francis Baraza, who replaced Sammy “Pamzo” Omollo, faces his first test when he leads his troops against Bandari in Kasarani.
In the meantime, Tusker are tipped to consolidate their lead in the season when they engage Bidco United at Thika Stadium.
Tusker, who thumped Nairobi City Stars 4-1 in their latest fixtures, will be meeting a vengeful Bidco side that will be seeking to overturn a 2-1 defeat by Gor Mahia last weekend.
The bottlers, who are at the driving seat of the league with none points, are expected to draw great inspiration from free-scoring Ugandan striker Deogratius Ojok and Jackson Macharia.As a teenager, Ramos made his Benfica debut in July 2020 and scored twice in eight minutes as a second-half substitute. Later that year, he marshalled the Portuguese outfit to the final of the UEFA Youth League against Real Madrid, finishing the tournament with a runners-up medal and as joint-top scorer with eight goals.
Internationally, Ramos has been a stalwart for Portugal at youth level, representing his country in every age group since the under-17s.
He played a key role in Portugal’s journey to the U19 Euros final in 2019, scoring four goals in five appearances as the tournament top scorer, including hat-trick against Republic of Ireland.
His senior debut, which came during Portugal’s pre-tournament friendly against Nigeria, acted as the perfect precursor for the World Cup, as he helped his side to a confident 4-0 victory with a goal and an assist.
Perhaps anticipating the need for Ramos later in the tournament, Santos handed the Benfica star two short cameos against Ghana and Uruguay during the group stage, even if it amounted to just 10 minutes of game-time in total.
Remarkably, having chalked up just 33 minutes of international experience before his scintillating display against Switzerland, Ramos became the first player to score a hat-trick during his first World Cup start since Miroslav Klose in 2002.
Leeds reportedly expressed interest in the Benfica youngster last summer. No doubt his stock will have risen considerably in January now that he’s overshadowed Ronaldo.

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