Zapata eyes first win with Nakumatt calling

first_imgWith the hope of challenging for this year’s KPL gong, defeat will be the least of Zapata’s expectations as he faces a tricky Nakumatt side.“I am happy that we are not conceding goals which was a major problem when I came here. Now we need to start scoring and I am sure we will soon because we have quality players,” the optimistic Zapata said in an earlier interview with Capital Sport.AFC beat Nakumatt home and away last season without conceding a goal, winning 3-0 in the first leg and 1-0 in the return tie. However, with the side resurgent following a shot in the arm financially, it will be a tough challenge for Ingwe.Nakumatt won their last tie 3-2 away to Zoo Kericho and they walk into the AFC game heads high beaming with confidence.-AFC  boost-AFC Leopards head coach Zapata conducting training. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYALeopards will be boosted with the return of dependable defender Salim ‘Shittu’ Abdallah who has been missing with injury while Ghanaian forward Prince Arkoh might also be available for a few minutes of action after returning to training following a three-month injury lay off.Arkoh picked up a knee injury in February during the CAF Confederation Cup tie against Fosa Juniors and has not featured since.Even with the return of the two, AFC will have two absentees with left-back Isaac Oduro and forward Vincent Oburu missing with groin problems.A win for AFC will raise them a spot up to fourth if Bandari fail to pick maximum points against Mathare United in the early kick-off.-Bandari injury woes-Bandari FC skipper Shabaan Kenga attempts to go past Nakumatt’s Faina Jacobs during a Kenyan Premier League clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on April 29, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluBandari have had a topsy-turvy season and come into the fixture off a loss at the hands of a resurgent Tusker FC at home. But that is not the biggest of their worry; five first team players might not make it for the trip to Machakos as they are nursing various injuries.Goalkeeper Farouk Shikhalo, defender Bernard Odhiambo as well as midfielders David King’atua, William Wadri and Abdallah Hassan are all injured and will all require late fitness assessment.The only positive news for Bandari will be the return of defender Felly Mulumba who had been out for the last one month attending trials with Swaziland top side Mbabane Swallows.“We will look at the five who are injured by tomorrow (Saturday) morning and make a decision whether they will be ready enough to start. It’s a tricky situation because they have been very consistent in the first team this season,” head coach Ken Odhiambo noted.Mathare and Bandari lie side by side in the standings, separated by three points and the Dockers will look to topple Francis Kimanzi’s men and move back to third.Bandari FC coach ken Odhiambo remonstrates on the touchline during their Kenyan Premier League match against Nakumatt on April 29, 2018 in Machakos. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluBandari has beaten Mathare only once in their last 14 meetings, drawing six and losing the remaining seven. Odhiambo however is optimistic they can pick a second ever win against the Slum Boys.“We know that they have started the season very well but we are not afraid of them. We will work to counter their strengths and maximize on their weaknesses. I am happy with how we have started the season and how we are playing. If only we can convert our chances I think we will be a tough side to beat,” added the coach.Mathare come into the tie on a run of four winless matches, one that has seen them slump further from leaders Gor Mahia.A win will take them to within two points of leaders Gor and resuscitate their dream of clinching a first league title since 1998.-Fixtures-In the other fixture on Saturday, a limping Sofapaka will be at home to Zee Kericho in Narok.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000AFC Leopards head coach Zapata Rodolfo. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYANAIROBI, Kenya, May 11- AFC Leopards new boss Rodolfo Zapata will be out to pick his maiden win as head coach and Ingwe’s first in seven Kenyan Premier League matches when he faces a potential banana skin in the name of Nakumatt FC on Saturday in Machakos.After a flowery run of four wins on the trot engineered by immediate former coach Dennis Kitambi, Ingwe has slumped to two defeats and five draws, results that have seen them fall to fifth in the standings, a massive nine points off leaders Gor Mahia who have played two games less.last_img