Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards to test their might against low tier sides

By Rodgers Eshitemi: Sunday, February 16th 2020 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Football
Posta Rangers Lokuwam Eliud (right) and Walter Orando of Tandaza FC battle for ball possession during their FKF Shield Cup round of 32 match at Camp Toyoyo Stadium in Nairobi on Saturday 15/02/2020. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Kenyan Premier League sides Sofapaka and Posta Rangers scrapped into the round of 16 of FKF Betway Shield Cup by beating their respective opponents on penalties at Camp Toyoyo Stadium on Saturday.

Sofapaka had to dig deep to overcome Division One side Belaji EPZ 5-4 on penalties after barren draw.

This came barely two hours after Rangers had qualified into the next round of the oldest competition in the country after a surviving Tangaza scare thanks to substitute Ezekiel Okare’s last gasp equaliser that send the match into penalties (1-1). Bidco United beat Jericho Revelations 2-1 in an early match at the same venue.

Rangers won 5-3 on penalties with Okare scoring the match-winning penalty against the Division Two outfit. Bill Oporia, Clinton Kisiavuki, Humphrey Okoti and Elvis Osok scored the other penalties for the mailmen.

Sofapaka scored their penalties through Ellie Asieche, Willis Obayi, Cercidy Okeyo and Titus Achesa with Stephen Otieno scoring the sudden death penalty after Brian Nyakan’s miss.

It was a relief for Sofapaka (John Barasa) and Rangers (Sammy Omollo) coaches after they survived a scare from lower tier sides to progress.

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“Honestly speaking, this was a close shave but experience won it for us. I fielded the same team that beat Gor Mahia a few weeks ago, but we couldn’t get the goals in the regular time. All the same, we are now through to the next round,” Barasa said.

His Rangers counterpart Sammy Omollo said: “I am so happy about the game, not the result. This was our second string and it has given me an opportunity to see the players that have not been playing in the league. Some played well, others still struggled but I was impressed with their fighting spirit.”

Ezekiel Okare came off the bench to cancel out Byron Otieno’s first half opener and force the match into penalties after a 1-1 draw in regular time.

Rangers goalkeeper Byrne Omondi saved Frankline Odongo’s penalty kick with Okare scoring the winning penalty kick after Bill Oporia, Clinton Kisiavuki, Humphrey Okoti and Elvis Osok had all scored from the spot.

Tandaza scored their penalties through Oliver Odera, Godfrey Musotsi and Reuben Onsando.

Rangers had to dig deep to sail through after falling behind to Byron Otieno’s 14th minute goal.

Otieno dispossessed Rangers defender in the area before slotting the ball past an advancing goalkeeper.

On sensing danger, Omollo brought in Okare midway through the second half and the former Ulinzi Stars man saved their blushes with a stoppage time equaliser.

Wazito also progressed to the next round of the tournament after seeing off Egerton 1-0 in Nakuru while Talanta beat Zetech 6-5 on penalties. The Cup action continues today with AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia facing tests.

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