NAIROBI, Kenya, February 22 – GOTv Shield champions Sofapaka rallied from a goal down to beat Ushuru FC 2-1 as Zradvko Logarusic’s reign at AFC Leopards was baptised by a barren draw by Chemelil Sugar in day two of the Kenyan Premier League fixtures on Sunday.
Batoto Ba Mungu who hosted the taxmen at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos, trailed after just a minute for the worst possible start to the new season after keeper Evariste Mutuyimana misjudged the taxmen’s new signing Moses Arita’s shot that crossed the line before he crawled the ball out in vain.
Veteran forward John Baraza equalised in the second half before Collins Shivachi found the back of the net with a thunderbolt that went past Ushuru keeper Samuel Odhiambo who joined the side from Tusker FC to complete the turnaround.
At Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium, Logarusic started his campaign with single point whist in Mombasa, Bandari were 3-1 winners over Muhoroni Youth.
Andrew Waiswa, David King’atua and Juma Masoud scored for Twahir Muhiddin’s side while Jeremiah Wanjala netted the consolation for the Sugar Millers.
In the only televised match, Sofapaka began on the wrong foot after Arita picked a through ball from Paul Okatwa to unleash a shot that Mutuyimana saved only after it had crossed the line to gift the visitors the opener.
The goal motivated Ushuru who dominated the first-half with Okatwa and Arita giving the Sofapaka defense a hard time with threatening runs.
Both sides made early changes with Sofapaka head coach Sam Timbe pulling out Maurice Odipo for David Bagoole while his counterpart Ken Kenyatta introduced former Gor Mahia and Thika United midfielder Moses Odhiambo for David Naftali.
Both sides had chances their after but none could convert as Ushuru held on to the lead to the interval.
Timbe charges returned a better side with Shivachi, Ekaliani Ndolo and Danson Kago forcing Ushuru keeper Odhiambo make a number of saves.
Sofapaka’s pressure paid on the 58th when Baraza tapped in Shivachi’s cross from the right to level the match.
The hosts immediately made double substitution withdrawing Patrick Kagogo and Danson Kago for Erastus Mwaniki and Eli Asieche in search for the winner.
The changes made great impact to the team as Agwanda’s floated a cross found Mwaniki who in-turn squared the pass to Shivachi for a thumping finish worthy of the winner.
Two minutes later Ndolo thought he had scored only for referee George Mwai to rule the 2014 KPL Player of the Year offside.
There were no clear cut chances for either side as Batoto Ba Mungu held on to grab maximum points.