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Gritty Sofapaka retain Charity Cup

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DUNCAN-OCHIENGNAIROBI, Kenya, February 2 – Captain, Duncan Ochieng, saved in sudden death as Sofapaka successfully defended the Kenya Power Charity Cup 2-1 on post-match penalties over Mathare united, after the match ended 1-1 in regulation time at Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday.

Batoto ba Mungu coach Sam Timbe, was pleased with the win and said he was using the one day tournament to prepare his charges for the league.

“My players played very well and we are looking forward for a good outing in the new season. I’m so proud of my boys for defending the charity Cup, even though we won it through penalties.

“This is a good start for the season and the new players proved why we signed them, but about the Burundian duo, I cannot talk about them since I have not seen them,” the Ugandan said after the match.

To reach the finals, Mathare edged out GOtv winners AFC Leopards 3-2 on post match penalties after a goalless draw in the 90, while Batoto ba Mungu walloped league champions Gor Mahia 3-1.

Sofapaka started the match on a high note, coming close in the 11th minute through Anthony Ndolo, but keeper David Mwangi denied him.

Edwin Ombasa reacted swiftly 15 minutes later, when he beat defenders but he was too slow to pull the trigger allowing Ochieng to clear the ball.

Veteran striker John Baraza, gave Sofapaka the lead after he slotted home a penalty in the 30th, after Mwangi handled Yusuf Juma’s cross in the box forcing referee, Davis Omweno, to point at the spot.

The slum boys tried to equalize four minutes later through Noah Abich’s free kick but he blasted wide as the defending champions enjoyed a 1-0 lead at the breather.

On resumption, Mathare went about laying siege on the Sofapaka goal with Ochieng, putting on a man-of-the-match shift, denied Kenneth Wendo when he aimed at the target unmarked.

New sighing, Hussein Zzinda, proved to be a nuisance, working the Sofapaka defence and soon, the 2008 league winners got just reward when Enock Agwanda equalised in the 77th through a well taken free-kick that beat Ochieng at the far post.

Youngster, Erick Johana forced, Ochieng to punch the ball inside the box in the dying minutes, but his defenders cleared for a fruitless corner as the match headed to penalties.

Felly Mulumba and Thomas Wanyama scored for Sofapaka as Agwanda, Juma, Johnson Bagole and Haevener Maloba wasted theirs.

Erich Johana scored the lone penalty for Mathare as Abich, Gabriel, Isaac Otieno, Joseph Njuguna and Erick Mata missed.

Earlier, despite fielding all their new signings, Leopards failed to find the back of the net and coach James Nandwa, said it was a wake up call for his charges ahead of the Confederations Cup clasha against Ethiopian side Defence in Nairobi.

“We need to go back to the drawing board, at least I don’t have a problem with defence and in midfield I have seen where to work on then we finish with the attack. We need to work extra.

“The players have not yet gelled so this week we are going to work on that, it’s a good training, let the players see the other side of it they can work on their weakness but  it was a good moment for us because we lost in the penalties which is a no one game.

On his part K’Ogalo tactician Bobby Williamson, said he was disappointed with the result and is going to work on the new comers whom he said have to cope with the team.

“We played very well in the first half, we got many chances but Sofapaka only got one opportunity through set pieces. I’m disappointed the players don’t put to practice what we teach them, but hopefully they will learn quickly.

“George Odhiambo and Rama Salim have been here before so they know what is expected of them. I’m not going to be harsh on them since they have played few build up matches.

“I’m just concerned that the continental match stands before us and we need to play a competitive match. We will work on our weakness throughout the week,” the Scottish said.

In the first semi-final, Leopards dominated the better part of the match, starting with their best forwards including Jacob Keli, Allan wanga and Noah Wafula, but could not break through the slum boys defence that was manned by newcomer Noah Abich.

Wanga was stretched off minutes to half time when he picked a knee injury, to be replaced by Nigerian Austin Emeka.

Ingwe came closer in the dying minutes when Emeka got a chance to slot home after Mathare defenders failed to clear the ball in the box, to force the match end to a barren draw and head straight into spot kicks.

Abich, Gabriel Nduru and Bernard Omondi converted their kicks for Mathare while Wycliff Kasaya saved Vincent Omondi’s penalty as Peter Odhiambo blasted his wide.

Emeka and James Situma scored for Ingwe while Bernard Mang’oli, Abdalla Juma hit the cross bar as David Mwangi stoped Wafula’s kick.

K’Ogalo could have opened the scores in the second minute when George ‘Blackberry’ Odhiambo had the chance in the box, but the player who is making a comeback to the team blasted wide.

He was at it again in the 20th with his long range shot, that keeper Duncan Ochieng saved.

Harambee stars forward Clifton Miheso, broke the deadlock in the 30th with his far left cracker that beat custodian Jerim Onyango far post to give Sofapaka the first goal.

The match was stopped for over 30 minutes after Gor and Leopards fans erupted chaos, to force police to lobe teargas canisters, but the officers calmed the situation.

Former Sony Sugar striker Enock Agwanda, doubled the scores in the 58th after receiving a pass from Anthony Kimani, where he took his sweet time to beat defenders and place the ball far post.

Nine minutes later, Miheso found the back of the net to notch his brace after connecting Humpry Mieno’s pass.

David ‘Calabar’ Owino scored the lone goal for Gor in injury time, heading Innocent Mutiso’s corner.

Sofapaka received Sh1m (USD 11,574) while Mathare took home Sh600, 000 (USD 6,944.4).

Leopards and Gor walked away with Sh 300,000 each (USD 3,472.2).

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