After the Harambee Stars heroics, the Standard introduces the penultimate round against Ulinzi:-
KPL champions Ulinzi Stars coach Benjamin Nyangweso is wary of AFC Leopards’ threat ahead of their crucial midweek clash this evening at the Nyayo National Stadium.
The Ulinzi-Leopards match will be the second action of the day, on a day when local football enthusiasts will be treated to a double header, the first fixture being a crunch tie between 2009 champions Sofapaka and giant killers Chemelil Sugar from 5:30pm.
The soldiers are second in the table but only three points shy of leaders Tusker and with four matches to go, having two matches in hand and Nyangweso is well aware of the importance of today’s match. He will be seeking to hand Dutch coach Jaan Koops his second league defeat since he joined Leopards, a feat Nyangweso believes would not be easy.
Leopards have not been beaten in their last 11 league matches, their last league loss being a 3-1 loss to arch rivals Gor Mahia on July 24 and will be keen to spoil the party for Ulinzi.
"Leopards have been enjoying a good run in their league campaign and I am sure they will not give us an easy time. They beat us 1-0 in the first leg in Nakuru and they have improved a lot since then. I can say they have a better side than the one that beat us in the first leg so we expect a tough match," said Nyangweso.
He added: "In the first leg we created very many chances but failed to convert them, while they only had a single chance and capitalised on it. Their goalkeeper Barnabas Tiema was in world-class form in our first leg meeting and thwarted all our attempts, but we learned from our mistakes and we will go for early goals."
Leopards’ team manager Bernard Onyango said the team was in a fine form and promised fans of a thrilling clash. "The players have been showing a lot of commitment in training and they are keen to win the remaining fixtures to end the season on a high. We will only be missing the services of our top striker Mike Barasa who was sent off in our 4-0 win over Congo United, but I believe we have worthy replacements."
Burly striker Francis Chinjili is said to have postponed celebrations of his birthday, from on Tuesday, as he plans to celebrate it today with a win against the champions. Leopards are sixth on the table with 42 points.