James Magayi @magayijim
Ugandan striker Umaru Kasumba scored twice from the bench as resurgent top tier side Sofapaka edged 11-time league champions Tusker in a nine-goal thriller served on a sodden Kenyatta stadium, Machakos yesterday.
The 5-4 score epitomized a rare goal glut in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) as five matches played on Sunday yielded twenty one goals. Rookie Tusker custodian Bryne Omondi gifted Kepha Aswani an early opener when his intended pass to Lawrence Kasadha went to the Sofapaka forward.
Aswani moved the ball to his right finding the right angle before directing a low pinpoint shot to the far corner. The brewers were back on level terms eight minutes later through Mathew Odongo who also benefitted from Kevin Kimani’s horrible ball control.
The much-travelled winger got to a poor clearance from his defenders hoping to tame the ball and launch an attack but instead gifted Odongo the ball in 18-yard area and Tusker levelled. Apollo Otieno’s deflected shot gave the brewers a 2-1 halftime lead that was cut when Sofapaka goalkeeper Mathias Kigonya scored from the spot five minutes into second half.
A tumultous five minutes then ensued in which Aswani scored his second while Hashim Sempala and Jackson Macharia scored for Tusker. Kasumba then came off the bench to score twice and hand Sofapaka the win.
In Awendo, visiting Mathare United ushered in their shirt sponsor with a come-from-behind victory over hosts Sony Sugar. Yemi Mwana poked the millers after 20 minutes of play, capitalising on a lapse in concentration in Mathare’s defence.
The lead lasted just 18 minutes as Clifford Alwanga drew the 2008 champions level with a well taken goal before free scoring Chrispin Oduor settled the match three minutes from halftime with his winner for Mathare as the second half yielded no goals.
In the second match played in Machakos, Ezekiel Odera scored a 95th minute penalty to take AFC Leopards joint top with Gor Mahia. Marvin Omondi scored for Ingwe in the 11th minute but Moses Mudavadi leveled one minute later. It took an unfortunate handball at the death for Odera to score the winner.
In Nakuru, Dunstan Nyaudo was left ruing missed opportunity as Ulinzi Stars failed to beat Posta Rangers despite having numerical advantage for 65 minutes. Rangers were reduced to ten men in the 25th minute when goalkeeper Patrick Matasi was red carded for an elbow on Masita Masuta. Confusion then ensued after referee rescinded his decision to award Ulinzi a penalty.
Rangers hooked off Kennedy Otieno for reserve keeper Boniface Barasa. Against mounting odds the mailers then took the lead courtesy of diminutive Georson Likono who punished Ulinzi for poorly clearing Joseph Mbugi’s corner, carrying the lead into halftime.
Masita leveled for the soldiers with a clinical header 15 minutes from time and Hasan Omar seemed to have won it for Ulinzi in the 85th minute with his close range goal but inventive midfielder Titus Achesa conjured stoppage time equalizer for Posta to break Ulinzi’s hearts.