NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 1 – Ugandan Robert Omunuk scored a goal in either half as Kenyan Premier League new boys Nakumatt FC came from a goal down to shock 2009 champions Sofapaka 2-1 at the Ruaraka Complex on Saturday afternoon.
Mathias Kigonya’s rare error five minutes to half time had drawn Nakumatt back into the game after Ezekiel Okare had given Batoto ba Mungu an early lead. Omunuk hit his second 15 minutes from time to stop the high flying Sofapaka.
Sam Ssimbwa’s new look side only had two surviving members from the first leg, keeper Mathias Kigonya and central defender Jonathan Mugabi.
They were the better starters, still upped with the confidence of their two last wins, a 2-0 result against 15-time champions Gor Mahia followed up by a 9-1 mauling of Silver Bullets in the GOtv Shield last weekend.
As early as the fourth minute, Sofapaka had asked the first question with Wesley Onguso laying in a cross from the right after his initial attempt from the corner was blocked, but Umar Kassumba headed over.
Nakumatt had their first opportunity in the 11th minute with Peter Nzuki forcing a great save off Kigonya after some good play from the visitors saw Aswani set up his skipper for the shot.
Sofapaka were commanding most of the possession with the midfield pairing of new signing Bernard Mang’oli and the experienced Hillary Echesa doing well to win and distribute the ball.
For all their early command, Sofapaka were gifted with the opener on the quarter hour mark when Ezekiel Okare made the most of a misjudgment from keeper Sammy Okinda to nod home a long through from Wesley Onguso.
A relaxed Sofapaka now took crisp command of the game using the pace of Kassumba on the right and Timothy Ludda on the left to open up the Nakumatt defense, but the final call when it mattered most was never up to scratch.
Nakumatt, relentless in their search for an equalizer were gifted five minutes to the break when Ugandan Omunuk was gifted with the easiest of goals tapping in to an empty net after keeper Kigonya blundered in handling a cross from Nicholas Mejja on the right.
Nakumatt almost went to the break one up but Aswani saw his header from an Omunuk corner come off the crossbar while defender Eugene Ambulwa’s attempt with an overhead from the rebound going over.
Just a minute into the second half, Feni Ali thought he had given Sofapaka the lead again when he tapped in from close range but he was flagged offside after rushing to meet the ball spilled by the keeper from a Robert Aloro freekick.
Sofapaka had started stronger again and they had another decent opportunity in the 57th minute with Ali once again showing his prowess with a well taken shot from the edge of the box which flew wide.
Nakumatt all this while were patient and waited for the right opportunity to pounce and it presented itself in the 75th minute when Omunuk simply tapped in from a Mejja cross after the Sofapaka backline went sleeping.
Sofapaka made attacking changes bringing in Meshack Karani and Mohammed Kilume.
Karani twice came close, first with an effort from close range while his second attempt with a freekick from range went inches wide.