Charles Thuku and Viden Ochieng @Peoplesport11
Defending champions AFC Leopards joined fellow SportPesa Premier League (SPL) sides Sofapaka and Vihiga United into the pre-quarter finals of the SportPesa Shield after overcoming Rain Forest at Karuturi Sports ground in Naivasha yesterday.
The big cats won 4-0, courtesy of two first-half goals by Ezekiel Odera and a strike each by Jaffery Owiti and Raymond Mondi to lay bare their intention of reclaiming the title whose winner will represent Kenya in the 2019 Africa Champions League.
Elsewhere at Camp Toyoyo ground in Jericho, Sofapaka also qualified to the round of 16 after dismissing inexperienced Baba Dogo United 3-0.
Batoto Ba Mungu showed composure in the match with Stephen Waruru shooting them ahead with a predatory strike before Harambee Stars new find Pistone Mutamba made it two goals minutes later.
Upon resumption after the regulation time, Umaru Kasumba netted a third goal to put the match beyond the struggling Baba Dogo who otherwise earned praise from Sofapaka coach John Baraza for their aggressiveness.
National Super League side Western Stima thumped Bidco United 4-2 in the Sportpesa Gotv Shield cup to qualify into the last of round 16.
The result mean Stima will play against Ulinzi Stars in the last of 16 rounds of the Shield competition. Mikisa Junior, Kevin Monyi and James Ogada scored goal apiece and so was Amboko Kote whose last goal knocked out the Oilers from the competition. Former Kisumu All Stars Denis Ochieng had his kick saved by Bidco goalkeeper Charlse Okeyo.
On the other hand Martin Mage, Nelson Cheta scored a goal each for their side while David Kauma and Francis Odwuor had their spot kicks being saved.
Mourice Dukly Starting out in the central midfield for the host, almost struck after just five minutes of play after Bidco Okeyo failed to deal with a John Oginga delivery but was saved by Dyuga Lampert to deny Stima their first goal.
Perhaps shy of last year’s first round result in the same competition, Stima kept it cool and tried to keep possession of the ball as much as they could- the visitors, resolving to fast breaks through the high Stima line.
Bidco, then perhaps sensing pressure piling up, upped the tempo but an attempt from Lwamba Beteelo was thwarted by Stima goalkeeper Otieno Stephen.
In another match in Naivasha, Vihiga advanced in the easiest of ways after thumping Vegpro 4-0
Harambee Stars trialist Bernard Ochieng’ gave Vihiga the advantage before Patrick Okullo added a second goal. Vihiga came from the break with intentions of not surrendering their lead and deservedly scored the third through Dennis Wafula in the 67th minute. Ugandan Vincent Wonder delivered the ball that Ochieng dutifully slotted in for a comfortable lead.
The fourth and final goal of the game came just six minutes into the end of regular time. Vegpro’s captain Juma Simon handling the ball in the box with Wafula taking the responsibility to score from the spot.
On Saturday, last year’s finalists Kariobangi Sharks cruised into the same stage after a labored 4-2 victory on post-match penalties over Wazito at Camp Toyoyo.
Wazito, the pre-match under-dogs, held on doggedly to hold Sharks to a 2-2 draw in the regulation time but nonetheless came short of ‘out-weighing’ the big fish in the five spot-kicks lottery that was applied to break the deadlock.