Football Football

Last-gasp Sofapaka win keeps title race alive


NAIROBI, Kenya, October 16 – A last-gasp strike from defender Ekaliana Ndolo kept the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) title-chase alive as Sofapaka edged out Ushuru FC 3-2 in a nail-baiting encounter in Machakos to trim the lead at the top to a point from champions Gor Mahia.

K’Ogalo fans were gearing to applaud the taxmen for holding their closest challengers to reduce the pressure on them ahead of their Sunday clash with 2008 champions Mathare United but like retired Manchester United legend, Sir Alex Ferguson famously said, “Football! Bloody hell!” Ndolo, popped up to tap in for a dramatic winner to turn the pressure taps on the titleholders.

It was the perfect match to usher in the KPL after a two-week international break and to borrow once again from Ferguson, City Stadium will be filled by ‘squeaky bums’ on Sunday when K’Ogalo take on Mathare.

The 2009 winners who are yet to play Gor, AFC Leopards and title challengers Tusker FC are on 50 points; setting the stage to a thrilling climax to the season neutral fans will revel in.

Batoto Ba Mungu who were seeking to bounce back after dropping points in their 2-2 draw against Sony Sugar, took control of the first-half and went in for the breather a goal to the good after left-back John Njoroge netted on the half-hour mark from a Enock Agwanda throw in.

Harambee Stars new call-up Danson Kago doubled the lead upon resumption connecting Njoroge’s corner but Sofapaka then imploded with Carlson Mweresa pulling one back from Geoffrey Kataka’s through pass, six minutes later.

Liberian import Roosevelt Blatty levelled matters in the 59th after Ivan Anguyo set him up to beat keeper David Okello and the taxmen looked good value for the point until the dying embers of the match.

The hero of the day was Harambee Stars new boy Ndolo; who made a timely run into the box to mop up substitute Fiston Abduol’s rebound and takes his goal tally to seven.

The loss saw Ushuru, formerly KRA, head coach Ken Kenyatta who started the league on a high pick his seventh successive loss to stagnate 11th on 33 points.

The taxmen who were without dependable players defender Douglas Okumu, skipper Barrack Odhiambo and Hassan Muhammad but recovered to create many chances in the last period but Kataka and Blatty failed to extend the lead after missing one on ones with Okello.