James Magayi @magayijim
Kariobangi Sharks registered an emphatic 3-0 away victory over Djiboutian opponents Arta Solar in the CAF Confederation Cup to book a historic date in round one of the competition following a 9-1 aggregate score.
Sharks have consequently been rewarded with a fairy date with Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko in the next round. Their progress past Arta Solar was never in doubt following the 6-1 rout in Nairobi last week.
The Kenyan club, nonetheless prepared for the return leg, their first game outside Kenya, in earnest and outclassed their opponents in the humid conditions of Arta region.
Sharks wasted no time away from home as burly Ugandan forward George Abege broke the deadlock in the 27th minute. A lovely build-up into Arta Solar danger area resulted in Sydney Simale finding himself with the ball in prime position but instead of going for the goal, the youngster chose to tee up Abege who was placed even better.
The Ugandan took one touch to steer the ball in his path before finding the net with his second. Sharks had threatened throughput and Abege’s goal only served to spur them on. Arta Solar managed to fend off ensuing deluge of attacks from the visitors and were lucky to be just a goal down at the breather.
With Arta Solar needing seven goals in 45 minutes to overturn the tide, Sharks played comfortably, passing the ball in boisterous fashion and doing everything to run the clock down.
The hosts, bruised and battered, laboured at home, unable to find a lucky strike for consolation then switched off in the latter stages of the game and Sharks smelt more blood. The Kenyan team struck two goals within two minutes to compound Arta Solar’s humiliation in the continent’s second-tier club competition.
Duke Abuya and Vincent Wasambo’s goals no doubt sent alarm bells ringing in Ghana as Kotoko who sailed through on a bye must have been on the look out.