The GOtv Shield tournament enters round 16 this weekend with seven lower tier sides trying their hand in the tournament whose winner will represent Kenya in Caf Confederation Cup next year.
Eldoret Youth, Savannah, Wazito, GFE 105, Butterfly, Bidco United and Vihiga United are part of the 16 teams remaining in the tournament after the first two rounds that claimed heavy weights Gor Mahia, Ulinzi Stars and Western Stima.
The biggest game of the weekend will be between 2014 winners Sofapaka and last year’s quarterfinalists Kariobangi Sharks on Sunday at Kinoru Stadium in Meru.
‘Batoto ba Mungu’ will be looking to end a trophy drought that has persisted since they won the competition three years ago, while determined Sharks will be out to get past the competition’s quarterfinal stage for the first time.
Speaking to Nation Sport on Friday, Sofapaka coach Sam Ssimbwa exuded confidence that his team will reach the next round.
“I now have a number of new players so I will make some changes in the squad and employ a winning strategy. As you know we made very good signings so the only thing we need to do is to get a good strategy against Sharks,” he said,
His opposite number William Muluya, whose team is currently riding on a 10-match unbeaten record, is not taking any chance.
“This is a trophy that is within our reach and we shall try everything to ensure that we get as close as possible to winning it. Last year we got to the quarters so this year we have to record an even better performance,” he said.
Another tough match this weekend will see champions Tusker play second division side Butterlfy on Saturday at Nyayo Stadium.
The brewers have had it easy, overcoming lower-tier sides SS Assad and Palos in the first and second rounds respectively, and are considered favourites against the Ruiru-based Butterfly.
Bandari v Nakumatt (Mbaraki); Sony Sugar v Nzoia Sugar (Awendo); Eldoret Youth v Savannah (Kipchoge Keino); GFE 105 v Wazito (Kipchoge Keino); Kakamega Homeboyz v Vihiga United (Mumias); Tusker v Butterfly (Kinoru Stadium).
Sofapaka v Kariobangi Sharks (Nyayo);
Bidco United v AFC Leopards (Thika).