Sofapaka fairy tale continues

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NAIROBI, Kenya, February 13- Sofapaka are through to the second round of the CAF Confederation Cup after beating Angolan side Aviacao in a dramatic penalty shootout on Sunday.

The game which was played under a freak storm ended in a barren draw after regulation time.

Zachary Onyango was the hero of the home side after saving a spot kick from his Aviacao counterpart Gossen Cadete in sudden death penalties after both teams were deadlocked 3-3 in the initial series of spot kicks.

The duel which played out in driving rain was not without controversy after Sofapaka midfielder was forced to take his retake twice after Cadete was judged to have come of his line when both shots were taken.

Police had to come to the rescue of the linesman who made the call after he was confronted by Aviacao players at the final whistle.

“The referee did his work correctly. The keeper came off his line twice and the referee had no option. It’s his job to punish players who infringe,” said a delighted Sofapaka interim coach Ezekiel Akwana.

“We played very well. They (Aviacao) pressed a lot so we used a lot of diagonal passes to open them up,” he added.

The former Kenya Premier League (KPL) champions who now meet Ismaily in the next round spurned several chances in the entire match most notably Francis Baraza and and Bob Mugalia.

Sofapaka’s siege on the Aviacao line was almost rewarded in the 20th minute when he connected with a Titus Mulama free kick but his shot was blocked by his team mate Edgar Ochieng.

The visitors had a chance to pull ahead seven minutes later when he collected a pass unmarked in the Sofapaka box only to slice his shot.

The second half was largely uneventful with both coaches making substitutions in order to change the complexion of the game.

John Onami who came on for Baraza had a chance to finish the game off in the 86th minute with a spectacular overhead volley but his shot went wide.

The tension filled shootout got off to a bad start for Sofapaka as captain James Situma who just came back from injury missed the first penalty.

Anthony Kimani, Mudde and Humphrey Mieno held their nerve to slot in their spot kicks to make three out of five at par with Aviacao before it went to sudden death.

 

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