FKF Cup: Police to go guns blazing against Ulinzi Stars
What you need to know:
- Another mouth-watering clash in the knock-out competition will see defending champions Gor Mahia play Kakamega Homeboyz away at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega
- Since Kenya Police returned to the FKF-PL last season, they have met Ulinzi Stars thrice with all the ties ending in a draw
- The Homeboyz game will provide Gor coach Johnathan McKinstry with another chance to field his newly acquired players including striker Patrick Kaddu.
The clash between Ulinzi Stars and Kenya Police highlights Round 16 of Football Kenya Federation Cup scheduled for this weekend.
Another mouth-watering clash in the knock-out competition will see defending champions Gor Mahia play Kakamega Homeboyz away at Bukhungu Stadium in Kakamega.
AFC Leopards, who were runners-up in the last edition in 2021, will host National Super League side Murang’a Seal at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.
FKF Premier League defending champions Tusker will be away to lower tier side Rainbow on Saturday at MISC Kasarani.
Overall, three ties have been scheduled for Saturday while another five will be on the cards on Sunday as clubs battle it out for quarter-final slots.
Kenya Police will host Ulinzi Stars for the first time at their newly built Police Sacco stadium in South C in Nairobi.
This is the first time the law enforcers will be playing a high magnitude match at the 7,500 capacity facility since it was officially opened by President William Ruto on February 4, 2023.
Since Kenya Police returned to the FKF-PL last season, they have met Ulinzi Stars thrice with all the ties ending in a draw. Last season the two teams played out to a barren draw in the first leg and 2-2 draw in the second leg.
In the first leg this season, Ulinzi and Kenya Police duel ended in a barren draw at MISC Kasarani. However, Saturday's clash will be different as one of the teams has to progress to the quarter-finals of the FKF Cup.
Kenya Police coach Francis Baraza told Nation Sport that they will not be taking any chances as they consider the domestic cup a route to continental football. The winner of the FKF Cup will represent the country in the CAF Confederation Cup next season and win Sh2 million in prize money.
“We have prepared well and since we will be at home, we have no reason not to get a positive result. I know they lost to Nzoia Sugar (in their last league match) and will be itching for a win. We have to take our chances and win, making it to the quarter-finals means we will only be three matches away from achieving our dream,” said Baraza, a former Kenyan international.
The 48-year-old tactician will miss the services of Pattillah Omoto and Baraka Badi who are both sidelined with injury. However, Baraza will welcome back Harun Shakava who has been away on work-related duties and the pair of Musa Mohamed and Marvin Nabwire who were injured.
Ulinzi Stars assistant coach Abdallah Mohamed said they are also ready for the match and all players will be available for selection as they don’t have any injuries. Ulinzi lost by a solitary goal to Nzoia Sugar on Tuesday and will be eager to return to winning ways.
In the past three meetings between Gor Mahia and Kakamega Homeboyz, both teams have won once while one tie has ended up in a draw. The game will provide coach Johnathan McKinstry with another chance to field his newly acquired players including striker Patrick Kaddu.
Kaddu netted thrice against Vihiga Bullets in his debut on Wednesday while K'Ogalo defender Sylvester Owino will be facing his former side. Rwandese midfielder Emery Bayisenga and Ugandan defender Shafique Kagimu, who also impressed against Bullets are also available for selection.
Fixtures (All matches kick off at 3pm unless stated)
Sofapaka v Darajani Gogo (Police Sacco Stadium, 1pm)
Kenya Police v Ulinzi Stars (Police Sacco Stadium, 3.15pm)
Rainbow v Tusker (Kasarani Annex)
Kariobangi Sharks v Equity (Nyayo, 1pm)
Kakamega Homeboyz v Gor Mahia (Bukhungu, 1pm)
Murang’a Seal v AFC Leopards (Kasarani)
Bandari v Mwatate United (Mbaraki)
KCB v Bidco United (Nyayo, 3.15pm)