Sofapaka stumble with draw against Vihiga


Sofapaka FC players celebrate Kasumba's goal during their Kenyan Premier League match against Mathare United ...
Sofapaka FC players celebrate Kasumba's goal during their Kenyan Premier League match against Mathare United FC at Kasarani stadium on February 12, 2019. Photo/Oliver Ananda/Sportpicha/Citizen

In Summary

  • Sofapaka FC wasted the chance to close the gap on Kenyan Premier League (KPL) leaders Gor Mahia FC to five points as they drew 1-1 with Vihiga United on Thursday
  • Vihiga put up a dogged display at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos with Christopher Masinza's late strike inspiring the rally after Stephen Waruru had put Sofapaka ahead

Sofapaka FC wasted the chance to close the gap on Kenyan Premier League (KPL) leaders Gor Mahia FC to five points as they drew 1-1 with Vihiga United on Thursday.

Vihiga put up a dogged display at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos with Christopher Masinza’s late strike inspiring the rally after Stephen Waruru had put Sofapaka ahead.

An early kick-off at the same venue featuring Kariobangi Sharks and Zoo Kericho FC finished with a similar score-line. Erick Kapaito’s 20th minute opener for Sharks was cancelled out by Kevin Omondi at the half-hour mark.

Vihiga showed great attacking intent right from the start with Masinza troubling left back Titus Achesa. Dennis Wafula fired over while Lawrence Luvanda had a rocket of a shot blocked by Faina Jacobs in an encouraging start for the visitors.

Midfielder Mohammed Kilume was lucky to stay on the pitch on the half hour mark after his high boot that landed on Luvanda’s lower abdomen missed the eye of both the referee Josa Owiti and his first assistant Doreen Kendi.

There were efforts from both sides to take the lead as Miachale Oduor curled his shot over the right corner and Smith going to the book for a crunch tackle on Waruru as the John Baraza coached side launched a counter attack.

The 2009 KPL champions came back for the second half; ready for a win pushing Mike Mururi’s men on the edge skipper Stephen Waruru who thumped into the right corner a loose ball after the visiting custodian Michael Matasio parried Asieche’s shot into the box.

The sting did all but to call for a fight back from the visitors, Mururi’s tactical nous coming into play as he called on Rashid Kyambadde with Dennis Wafula taking a place on the bench.

Midfield general Ellie Asieche was penalized for a handball in the middle of the park in the 74th minute, Bernard Ochieng launching a long ball into the box, substitute Kyambadde’s headed flick setting up Christopher Masinza who beat Ndikumana with a fine shot to take his tally of the season to five goals.

Sofapaka could have restored their lead two minutes later had Ugandan striker Umaru Kasumba found the target from the edge of the box after a clean pass by Asieche calling Baraza into a double change with Pistone Mutamba and Ronald Okoth coming on for Waruru and Michael Oduor.

The changes were however of no effect to the final result as the sides saw out the evening level.

The nadir draw which halts Sofapaka’s four match winning streak has them on 37 points, seven off leaders Gor Mahia who have played a game less as Vihiga rise to 14th on 20 points, level with AFC Leopards who play later in the day.

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Story By Julius Jumah
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