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Eyes on semis

The search for the country’s sole representative in the CAF Confederations Cup takes centre stage this weekend at the GOtv Shield competition enters the quarter-final stage.

Surprise package in the competition, Eldoret Youth – who ply their trade in the Division 1 league, might enter their name in the books of history if they sail to the semis at the expense of top flight side Kariobangi Sharks in one of the two matches set for Nyayo Stadium today.

Sharks will not wish to underrate the Eldoret-based team, who saw off National Super League side and neighbours Nakuru All Stars in the round of 16 to draw the attention of fans who had written them off basing on the division one unheard football activities.

Sharks will miss dependable centre-half Pascal Ogweno, who is serving his six match ban, and the team if hopeful that this will not come to haunt them.

2015 champions Bandari play SoNy Sugar at the same venue in the second match of the day, with the two teams locking horns for the third time in a space of a month. Having managed four points from their previous two SportPesa Premier League matches, the Dockers will not sit and expect a miracle to happen since SoNy tactician Salim Babu must have learnt a few lessons from their duels.

The coastal side, who have been under the stewardship of assistant coach George Owoko in the run up to this match, will be boosted by the return of their head coach Paul Nkata, who was away in his Ugandan backyard for the past one week.

Nkata, a league winner with Tusker last season remained cautious ahead of what he termed as an unpredictable encounter.

“Cup games are not predictable. You can prepare well and get beaten. Some players have been away and they lack the necessary match fitness, but this should not be a cause for alarm. They trained under the assistant coach while I was away and it is my belief that they will give their all to enable us win the match. There are no shortcuts at this level,” said Nkata.

Tomorrow, defending champions Tusker NSL table-toppers Vihiga United at Nyayo Stadium. They might be flying high at the second tier, commanding a four-point gap but against a side which has showed no mercy to second division clubs, the Vihiga County-sponsored side will have to bring their best to this encounter. Similarly, Tusker will also have to put in a champion-esque display to send Vihiga packing.

2013 champions AFC Leopards will be out to prove to their fans they can deliver some silverware when they play another NSL outfit, Wazito FC. Ingwe will be boosted by the return of defender Robinson Kamura, who has been away for three weeks following a road accident. Vincent Oburu and Joshua Mawira are, however, doubtful due to injuries.

Action resumes

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