Sofapaka take season opener


NAIROBI, Kenya, February 20- Sofapaka’s good start to 2011 continued on Sunday with a 1-0 win over Ulinzi in the season opening SuperSport/DSTV Cup.John Baraza scored the only goal at Nyayo National Stadium in the 13th minute following a well executed move involving new signings Francis Ouma and John Njoroge.

“We changed our tactics in the second half because Ulinzi came at us hard. So instead of the attack formation we had in the first half we switched to defence,” said Sofapaka tactician Ezekiel Akwana.

He paid tribute to two time Kenya Premier League (KPL) top scorer Baraza for slotting in the winner.

“Baraza has been working on his goal scoring the whole week. I’m very happy with him and I know come next weekend against Mathare he’ll continue to score goals as he used to,” added Akwana.

Ulinzi coach Benjamin Nyangweso, whose team squandered several chances in the second half said that inconsistency cost his team.

“We played well but we didn’t take our chances. We were very unlucky but I’m happy with my team,” said Nyangweso.

Ouma reintroduced himself to the Kenyan football public when he ran onto a sublime through pass from Njoroge in the ninth minute but his tame shot was blocked by Ulinzi keeper Francis Onyiso.

The blue shirts continued to run at the military side and were duly paid with Baraza’s strike.

Ouma, collected a pass on the far touch line, launched a cross into the Ulinzi box for Edgar Ochieng who headed it down to the feet of the Sofapaka striker who turned and volleyed home.

The rest of the first half wore on uneventfully before the match exploded into life after the interval.

Nyangweso’s side pressed relentlessly at the former KPL champions and were almost tied the game twice.

Substitute Evans Amuoka pounce on a loose ball in the Sofapaka box and could have made it one all in the 70th minute had George Opiyo not blocked his shot from point blank range.

Amuoka was almost the hero again soon after with a header but his effort came off the woodwork.