NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 28 –Ezekiel Okare netted a brace as Sofapaka inched closer to safety following their 3-2 victory over limping AFC Leopards in a Kenyan Premier League match played at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Friday.
Alfred Wekesa opened the scores for AFC Leopards in the sixth minute before Okare restored parity four minutes later and adding the second in the 26th.
Second half substitute Charles Pilipili who came on for injured Okere, sealed the win in the 85th minute even after Jack Bruno pulled one back for Ingwe in the 89th minute.
Batoto Ba Mungu now sits two points behind Ushuru who are placed 14th on 24 points to pile pressure on the taxmen who stare relegation.
On the other hand, AFC Leopards, who were playing infront of their incoming head coach Stewart Hall, dropped to 13th on 30 points with only two matches remaining before the end of the season.
Stand-in-coach Ezekiel Akwana made changes from the squad that lost 2-0 to champions Gor Mahia in the Mashemeji derby with goal keeper Lukas Indeche and midfielder Bernard Mang’oli dropping to the bench.
In-experienced Edwin Mukolwe was handed a starting role in between the sticks, a decision that came to haunt Akwana as the custodian was responsible for the opening two goals they conceded.
Mukolwe conceded both goals in similar fashion as his poor timing gifted Okare the equalizer after the Sofapaka striker headed home from veteran Noah Abich’s beautifully taken free-kick.
The goal saw Wekesa’s opener cancelled out after the AFC Leopards forward made good use of Sofapaka poor clearance that hit the back of Mungai Kiongera with the rebound finding Simon Abuko who set-up Wekesa.
Despite pulling a top drawer save denying Kiongera, Mukolwe was withdrawn in the 35th minute for Ian Otieno as Akwana looked at salvaging the situation.
The second half was marred with heavy down pour but that did not stop Sofapaka from attacking as they knew collecting maximum points will enhance their chances of suvuval in the top flight league.
In the 70th minute, Sofapaka captain Johnson Bagoole cleared Kiongera’s shot off the line after Andrew Tololwa’s cross had beaten Mathias Kigonya in the Batoto ba Mumbu goal.
The third goal for Sofapaka came in the 85th minute after Pilipili smashed the ball in between Ian Otieno’s after Moses ‘Dube’ Odhiambo nodded down to him from Abich’s pin point set-piece.