A goalkeeping howler by George Opiyo cost Sofapaka a place in the GOtv Shield quarter-finals in a 3-1 defeat by Kariobangi Sharks at Nyayo National Stadium yesterday.
Opiyo, who tended Sofapaka’s posts in the absence of first choice custodian Mathias Kiganya who is away with the SportPesa Premier League All Stars in Spain, conceded all the three goals in a similar fashion by unnecessarily coming out of his goal area.
Sharks raced into the lead in the 44th minute when Geoffrey Shiveka made a dizzying run down the right flank and fed Paul Kamau who discovered Opiyo’s wrong positioning to lob the ball into an empty net. Opiyo came out of his lines again in the 49th minute, this time allowing Masoud Juma to net the first of his two goals with a powerful shot from the 18-yard box.
Masoud who was a manace to Sofapaka defenders was on the mark again in the 82nd minute when he picked his spot 10 metres away to poke the ball home after he was picked by Ebrimma Sanneh.
Umalu Kasumba pulled one back for Sofapaka in the dying minutes, off a cross from Abdulatiff Omar, but it was too little too late for the wasteful Batoto ba Mungu In Mumias, after stunning Kakamega Homeboyz with 7-6 through post-match penalties with a 1-1 draw in regular time at Mumias Complex to book a quarter-final berth, National Super League (NSL) outfit Vihiga United is now focusing on GOtv Shield.
Vihiga tactician Edward Manoah revealed that he has assembled a strong team with a lot of quality to compete at a high level. “We prepared well for the match and knew how to handle Homeboyz by denying them space on the flanks.
They have fast paced wingers the moment you give them space to breath you will be in a big trouble, but we did well to neutralise them,” said Manoah. He added that at the moment any team is beatable and called upon his players to remain focused and work hard as they aim for shield cup title.
It was a match of two halves with Vihiga dominating the first half from the whistle with Charles Okwemba who was the captain of the day combining well with Martin Imbalambala and Chris Masinza in the midfield.
Elsewhere, Nzoia United coach Bernard Mwalala blasted his side for conceding easy goals that saw them being bundled out of the GOtv Shield by Awendo-based Sony Sugar over the weekend.
Mwalala put the blame on the scrappy defence, which he said failed to play by the instructions. “We had instructed the boys to attack fast in search of early minute goals that did not work, I believe the goal came as a result of blunder,” he said. Reports by Charles Thuku, Fred Likuyani and Viden Ochieng