Avire returns to haunt Mt. Kenya United as Sofapaka wins season opener

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Monday, December 10th 2018 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Captain Sofaka FC Stephene Waruru Celebrate his goal against Mount Kenya FC during SportPesa Premier League at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos County on Sunday Dec 9, 2018. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

John Avire returned to haunt his former club, scoring the opener as Sofapaka beat Mount Kenya United 2-1 in yesterday's SportPesa Premier League match, at the Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.

Despite making a dream start to his career as Batoto Ba Mungu coach Medo Melis was magnanimous in the victory against his immediate former employer.

"Yes, we won but I have a lot of reservations for this game. We should have won with a bigger margin. But literally it was a game between me and 'myself'. This is the job I started off at Mount Kenya United,"Medo told Standard Sports.

But for Mount Kenya coach Anthony Mwangi, his new look side performed extremely well.

"The result isn't the true reflection of the game. Despite having a new-look team, we played very well. I didn't expect such performance," said Mwangi.

Avire broke the deadlock on the stroke of halftime with a perfect diving header from Titus Achesa's delivery before Captain Stephen Waruru doubled the lead from the spot eight minutes into the second half. However, Kyata Amani pulled a goal back for MKU through a penalty kick in the 73rd minute after on rushing goalkeeper Richard Aimo hacked down Boniface Mukhekhe in the box.

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Sofapaka threatened first in the fifth minute but Cliff Kasuti fluffed his close range effort before MKU earned a free kick in a promising position but Samuel Ndung'u's shot was punched away by goalkeeper Richard Aimo.

MKU intensified their attack and Tevin Opondo thought he had given them the lead only for his snap shot to hit the left post after being released by Anthony Mbugua.

Five minutes later, Stephen Warura received a through pass, beat the on rushing keeper Phillip Odhiambo but was let down by a miss pass on the byline before John Avire hit the sidenetting.

Sofapaka keeper would then pulled off a fine save from Kyata Amani's quickly taken deflected corner kick before Frank Bala made a goal saving tackle to deny Avire the opener on the opposite end.

But industrious Avire finally broke the deadlock with a perfect diving header from Titus Achesa's pinpointed cross on the stroke of halftime.

Kepha Aswani came on for Justin Mico on restart and earned a penalty kick for Batoto Ba Mungu in the 53rd minute after he was fouled in the box. Waruru made no mistake to send the keeper the wrong side.

However, MKU pulled a goal back through Kyata's 75th minute spot kick after Boniface Mukhekhe was brought down in the area by the on-rushing Aimo.

Moments later, MKU were awarded a free kick at the edge of the box after Sofapaka defender blocked Ndung'u's goal bound effort with the hand but Kyata's shot was headed away by Omar Moussa.

But a bizarre incident happened in the 83rd minute when MKU keeper Phillip Odhiambo was stretched out after colliding with Aswani in the air while jumping for the ball, forcing coach Anthony Mwangi to bring on Frank Kirimi.