NAIROBI, Kenya, October 5 – Sofapaka dropped two points to give champions and leaders Gor Mahia breathing space after they were held to a 2-2 draw by hosts Sony Sugar in a Kenyan Premier League clash at Awendo’s Green Stadium on Sunday.
Elsewhere, AFC Leopards picked their first win in five matches to ease relagation fears after overcoming basement side Nakuru All Stars 2-0 to confirm their opponents’ swift return to the first division.
At the Thika Municipal Stadium, David King’atua found the back of the net twice as captain Dennis Odhiambo completed the rout as Thika United toppled visiting Bandari 3-1.
Winger Shaban Kenga netted the consolation for the Dockers who are just above the drop zone on 27 points, three ahead of relegation threatened KCB.
In Awendo, Sofapaka needed to collect maximum points to keep their hopes of reclaiming the title they last lifted five years ago alive, but despite rallying two goals down to salvage a point against the Sugar Millers, Sam Timbe’s side failed to close the gap on Gor who chalked a 4-1 win over Nairobi City Stars a day earlier.
The champions are now four points to the good on 51 points with four games left in the run in.
The stalemate also piled pressure on Sofapaka since 2012/13 winners Tusker FC are only two points adrift in the battle for second.
Kennedy Oduor sent the hosts ahead in the 25th minute after connecting Victor Ademba’s rebound before Samuel Onyango doubled the lead 10 minutes later from a Marwa Chamberi through pass.
Enoch Agwanda pulled one back after converting new Harambee Stars call up Danson Kago’s cross on the stroke of halftime from a counter attack.
Timbe did double substitution in the second-half, pulling out veteran forward John Baraza and Clifton Miheso for Burundian Abdoul Fiston and John Njoroge.
The two changes saw Sofapaka pile pressure on their hosts, with their efforts paying of when Felly Mulumba connected Agwanda’s corner in the 68th to level.
Sony attempted to nick the win in the dying minutes through Samuel Onyango and Naftali Okombo but Sofapaka defence stood tall to ensure both sides shared spoils to send Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno’s charges to eighth.
-Leopards bounce back-
In Nakuru, midfielder Humphrey Mieno celebrated his return to Stars and substitute Jacob Keli netted the other to help Ingwe collect maximum points although they remain 12th on 32 while All Stars playing in the top flight league next season were finally doomed to relegation after propping the standings for most of the campaign.
The breakthrough for Leopards came in the 14th when an All Stars defender handled the ball in the box and referee David Mulongo awarded a penalty which Mieno converted for the opener.
The hosts were forced to an early substitution when center back Bernard Odhiambo picked a knock for Kapilima Kanamuli on the 38th.
All Stars started the second-half on a brighter note with Teddy Siwa forcing Matasi into two quick successive saves.
Leopards strengthened attack, making a double substitution as Timonah Wanyonyi made way for Keli, while Michael Khamati came on for Bernard Mang’oli with the substitute forward stepping up when he added the second in injury time.