Sofapaka go top after Ulinzi hold Gor Mahia

By Washington Onyango: Monday, April 22nd 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Gor Mahia striker Dennis Oliech (centre) tussles for the ball with Ulinzi Star's Omar Mbongi (left) and Boniventure Muchika at Moi Stadium in Kisumu yesterday. [Washington Onyango/Standard]

Sofapaka moved two points clear at the top of the SportPesa Premier League table winning 1-0 against Sony Sugar in Awendo after defending champions Gor Mahia were pegged to a 1-1 stalemate by Ulinzi at Moi Stadium in Kisumu yesterday.

Umar Kasumba made it two goals in two matches slotting home from the penalty spot as Batoto Ba Mungu bounced back to winning ways after drawing in their last our matches.

 The result saw Sofapaka go top with 48 points, two ahead of Gor Mahia.

Former Harambee striker Dennis Oliech had given the hosts the lead in the 47th minute before Enosh Ochieng pulled the scores level from the penalty spot in the 57th minute.

K’Ogalo coach Hassan Oktay said after the match he was not impressed by the performance of his troops and blamed the referee for not awarding his side a clear penalty.

 “We were denied a clear penalty when Kahata was pulled in the box and that cost us the win. Generally, the team did not perform at its best and the boys need to pull up and work extra hard ahead of the Bandari match,” Oktay said.

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The reigning champions started the match on a high trying to score an early goal, but the soldiers’ defence stood tall blocking Oliech and Francis Mustapha from making runs.

In the tenth minute, Kahata exchanged passes with Oliech before his left foot chip attempt was thwarted away by Ulizi captain James Saruni in goal.

Both teams were in search of an opening goal with most of the action played out in the midfield and the first half ended with both teams making changes with Oktay bringing in Pascal Ogweno for Philemon Otieno and Ulinzi swapping Benard Ongoma with Ibrahim Shambi.

After the restart, K’Ogalo were on the front foot after Oliech gave the champions the lead beating Saruni with a low shot in the left bottom corner with Francis Kahata providing the assist.

The goal brought life into the match with Oliech and Mustapha looking to kill the game with a second goal, but it was Ulinzi who struck the equaliser.

Geoffrey Ochieng was found culpable of bringing Enosh Ochieng down in the penalty box and the latter beat goalkeeper Shaban Odhoji in goal with a well-taken penalty.

Attempts to find the winning goal proved unfruitful even after the introduction of Jack Tuyisenge and Bonface Omondi.

In Kakamega, Sammy Okoth started his reign as Vihiga United coach by holding Mathare United in a 2-2 draw at Bhukungu Stadium to climb one point out of the relegation zone.

 Posta Rangers also moved four points out of the relegation zone after downing Zoo Kericho 2-0 in Nairobi.