Preview: Kopany charm absent as Stima seek first win against Kariobangi Sharks

The 2019-20 Kenyan Premier League season begins today- Friday 30th of August with a fixture pitting Kariobangi Sharks FC and Western Stima FC in Machakos.

The 3 pm kick-off clash sees the locking horns of youthful coaches in Kenya’s top division as William Muluya- fourth season with his Sharks side, and his sidekick Ezekiel Seda, face Salim Babu and Hesbone Nyabinge from the opposition dugout today.

Youth is written all over today’s match [IMAGE- Maina Wambugu]

Stima has never won this fixture in the league in the four teams’ meeting, picking two draws at home and always losing on the road. The Kisumu Powermen have only breached Sharks defense twice in the four meetings- and both goals have been scored by Hurbert Kopany who- this minute finds himself in the United States on a football scholarship. Stima will need fresher boots for the task today, therefore.

Kopany celebrates his equalizer in 2017 [IMAGE- Fabian Odhiambo]

The two teams’ first meeting came in 2017, Sharks’ debut season and a Masud Juma opener had set the new boys to a win in Kisumu in that May 17 fixture. Kopany, however, had other ideas and forced a point for Stima off othe tie. In Nairobi, however, when they faced off for the return- Stima fell 1-0 through a Francis Manoah strike.

The third and fourth meetings happened just recently- the 2018/19 season, where outcomes again replicated. A draw in Kisumu and a win for Sharks in Machakos. Three goals were scored in Machakos during the first leg, George Abege and Harrison Mwendwa sending the hosts into a 2-0 lead but Kopany halved the deficit. It would end 2-1. No goal was scored in Kisumu.

Today’s clash offers two former Kariobangi Sharks players a chance to serve their old masters heartbreak. Fidel Origa and Henry Juma were offloaded from the Sharks’ 2019/20 squad and have since found a home at Stima, Juma- in particular reuniting with his former high school coach Hesbon Nyabinge.

Henry Juma returns to Sharks in the colours of Western Stima [IMAGE- Fabian Odhiambo]

The attack-minded midfielders are part of Stima’s new crop of young recruits and will definitely angle for a good start against an equally young and determined Sharks outfit.

Abdallah Chamberi, Ibrahim Ochieng, Kelvin Wesonga, Oromchan Villa, Robert Achema, Salim Hamisi are just part of the new additions to Babu’s unit whereas Sharks angle to parade new faces in the way of Amani Kyata, Patrick Otieno, Daniel Sakari and Samuel Olwande.

The match kicks-off at 3 pm East African time at the Machakos County Stadium and will be broadcast live on Sharks Facebook Page.