James Magayi @magayijim
Kariobangi Sharks forward Eric Kapaito scored a stunning hat-trick after creating the opener to steer his team to a 4-1 romp over debutants Wazito in a Kenyan Premier League encounter at Camp Toyoyo yesterday. Kapaito tapped in his first of the game barely two minutes after Duke Abuya had put the industrious Sharks ahead.
Fleet-footed winger Harrison Mwenda set up Kapaito who beat Wazito custodian but left the ball to Abuya to score. With a comfortable lead heading into the break Sharks were rudely brought back to reality as Wazito pulled one goal back two minutes to half time through Brian Odhiambo’s powerful header.
Having gone to the break emboldened by Odhiambo’s goal, Wazito unrelentingly pressed Sharks for a leveller upon restart and came close to parity in the 53rd minute through Odhiambo but his goal-bound shot struck Michael Bodo and bounced to safety.
The ex-Talanta striker, recruited in January by Sharks, then restored Kariobangi’s two-goal advantage with a rasping shot before rounding up his hat-trick in the 84th minute with a crisp header. Kapaito’s was the third hat-trick in the 2018 KPL and his fourtth top-flight goal.
In Awendo, controversy-laden AFC Leopards eased some pressure by whipping hosts Sony Sugar 2-0 at the green stadium. Leopards went into the tie disheveled over suspension of head coach Robert Matano and midfielder Collins Okoth.
January signing Ezekiel Odera, however, forestalled anticipated criticism by poking home Leopards first goal in the opening minute before Sony gift-wrapped the three points for Ingwe with an own goal from Joseph Omweri.
In Thika, skipper Dennis Omino scored a clever penalty after Samuel Olwande had clumsily brought down Shami Mwinyi down in the box in the 54th minute. Cliff Nyakeya, however, scored a lucky header to give Francis Kimanzi’s side a share of the spoils.
Mathare were pressing for an equaliser when Clifford Alwanga was forced away from Thika’s goal. The lanky marksman, however, turned and delivered a crisp cross which Nyakeya steered on target. Thika custodian Alan Owiny slipped while trying to give chase and helplessly looked as the ball went in.
Eleven-time champions Tusker suffered their second league loss at the hands of Ulinzi Stars in Nakuru’s Afraha stadium. Young striker Masita Masuta scored the all-important goal.
On Saturday, Gor Mahia subjected Bandari to their first league loss thanks to goals from Wesley Onguso’s deflected goal and Meddie Kagere’s cool finish. Chemelil Sugar also returned to winning ways with a 2-1 home win over Zoo FC.