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Sofapaka survive All Stars scare in 6-goal fest

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Sofapaka players in a previous KPL clash. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya
Sofapaka players in a previous KPL clash. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, August 14- For the second time this season, Nakuru All Stars once again blew away a healthy lead to settle for a breathtaking 3-3 draw against Sofapaka in a SportPesa Premier League tie at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.

Having stunned giants AFC Leopards 2-1 in Nakuru last Saturday, basement side All Stars were on course to produce the second seismic shock in succession when after starting like a grass house on fire in taking a 3-0 lead after only 21 minutes of the first half.

Sofapaka, who were seeking to move to within a point of second placed Ulinzi Stars who departed for the East Africa Military Games began their fight back before the break with veteran striker, John Baraza, salvaging the point with a dramatic 95th minute deflected equaliser.

Against Ulinzi Stars a fortnight ago, All Stars were leading 2-0 at half time but ended up losing the match 3-2.

Patrick Oboya scored his third goal in two matches, grabbing a brace with Boniface Akenga scoring the other.

However, Fwadi Ndayisenga, Miami Mbakiye and Baraza’s late heart breaker saved Sam Timbe’s side the blushes even as rumours rage on over his future.

The Ugandan’s contract is set to lapse at the end of the month and according to reliable sources, his huge wage bill is discouraging club owner Elly Kalekwa from extending his stay.

Former Harambee Stars winger Oboya raced on to a Titus Achesa through ball from way into his own half before beating David Okello in the Sofapaka goal with a low shot on his favourite left foot to continue his rich vein of form

Sofapaka threatened to come back ten minutes later but All Stars had their goalkeeper Shabaan Odhoji to thank after producing two fine saves.

Reigning player of the year Antony Ndolo had uncorked a belter from the edge of the box after being set up by Hassan Wasswa but Odhoji stretched fully to palm away his effort.

Styve Nzigiyamasabo picked up the rebound but the keeper once again pulled off another stirring stop.

Oboya popped in a superb, classy finish on the other end just seven minutes later, flicking home with a back heel from Erick Omonge’s throw.

Sofapaka keeper David Okello was left stunned, watching as the ball trickled into the net with his defence in sixes and sevens, not knowing where Oboya popped up from.

Just two minutes later, All Stars had the champagne popping with an unlikely 3-0 lead when Boniface Akenga headed home from the edge of the six yard box.

Rattled Sofapaka threw their entire arsenal upfront and All Stars were guilty of inviting their hosts to attack by giving away many free kicks at the edge of the box.

Collins Shivachi and Hassan Waswa struck their efforts wide from set pieces but Fwadi Ndayisenga made no mistake with his chance, curling the ball over the All Stars wall and into the far left after Mbakiye had been pole-axed at the edge of the box.

Wasswa should have made it 3-2 three minutes to half time but he struck a wild shot after doing well to beat the offside trap and pick on Ekaliani Ndolo’s lobbed ball.

Baraza came on for the ineffective Nzigiyamasabo, the new signing having failed to impress in his first start for Batoto ba Mungu. Evans Maliachi was also thrown in for Odipo Maurice deployed in an advanced role away from his preferred left back position.

The siege on the All Stars goal finally bore fruit when Mbakiye struck for 3-2 after 76 minutes, pocking home from Ndayisenga’s cross.

At 3-2, All Stars had two great opportunities to return cushion their lead but they fluffed their lines.

Substitute Geoffrey Maina blasted wide from good scoring distance after being teed up by Ndirangu while Boniface Akenga’s effort from a volley was well parried away by Okello in the Sofapaka goal.

Sofapaka piled late pressure on All Stars with six minutes added on but the Nakuru side sent all bodies behind the ball to shield the precious three points.

But David Seda found himself turning home a seemingly harmless John Baraza effort, Shabaan Odhoji trying in vain to crawl back and punch the ball away.

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