Sofapaka miss chance to narrow gap on Sportpesa Premier League leaders Gor Mahia

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Monday, April 29th 2019 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
AFC Leopards players celebrate their first goal against Bandari FC during KPL match at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

For the umpteenth time, Sofapaka missed the chance to narrow the gap on Sportpesa Premier League leaders Gor Mahia after throwing the lead twice to draw 2-2 with Mathare United in yesterday’s match, at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.

On-form Whyvonne Isuza then scored the match winner as AFC Leopards laboured to beat Bandari 2-1 in a highly charged second the same venue.

Vincent Oburu had put Leopards ahead in the 15thi minute when he easily tapped home Paul Were’s cross from the left flank.

This was just after Were’s goal-bound shot had been blocked by a self sacrificing dockers defender.

Nigerian import Alex Orotamal looked to have broken his former side’s heart midway through the second half only for Isuza to help Ingwe bounce back to winning ways after he finished off Brian Marita’s incisive cross from the right flank in the 77th minute.

And after a physical-goalless first half in the first game, golden boot hopeful Umaru Kasumba and Cliff Nyakeya scored a brace each as they tried to out do each other in the second half.

Get the latest sports news updates. Subscribe to our SMS sports service by texting 'SPORTS' to 22840.

Following the draw, Sofapaka are six points (49) behind Gor Mahia, who take on Ulinzi Stars in Nakuru today.

And after the match Batoto Ba Mungu coach John Barasa couldn’t hide his disappointment.

“We have complicated and put ourselves into a very difficult situation, but we will continue pushing on. We are dropping points in matches which we should have won very easily. Kasumba gave his all but we let him down by conceding cheap goals. It’s really frustrating, “Barasa told The Standard Sports.

Mathare could have taken the lead in the tenth minute, but Jacob Faina did well to block James Kinyanjui’s delivery before Johnstone Omurwa missed a free header.

John Avire then wasted a golden chance in the box in the opposite end before Elly Asieche also skied his long range effort as Sofapaka pushed for an opener.

Moments later, Avire received an incisive cross from the right flank but indecision cost the former Nakumatt man.

Kasumba thought he had put Batoto Ba Mungu in front in the 40th minute only for his goal to be ruled offside before Kinyanjui’s goal-bound shot was superbly blocked by Willis Ouma.

Klinsmann Omulanga would then squander a chance to give Mathare on the stroke of halftime when his close range header flashed inches over the bar.

The game burst into life in the second half with Kasumba breaking the deadlock one minute after restart when he comfortably controlled the ball in the box before slotting it past goalkeeper Allan Owiny.

But the Ugandan’s celebration was cut short by Nyakeya’s superb gpal after a neat inter-change in the 55th minute before Crispin Oduor’s effort went inches over the bar.

Sofapaka regained the lead in the 58th minute when Kasumba beat the offside trap then rounded off the keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net.

But Nyakeya was at it again cancelling out Kasumba’s brace with a similar goal from Oduor’s 65th minute cut back before Omulanga missed a sitter.

Substitute John Mwangi could have snatched the win for Mathare but he fluffed two late chances in succession after good deliveries from Kinyanjui.