NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 23- Massoud Juma’s two second half goals helped Kariobangi Sharks thrash Sofapaka 3-1 at the Nyayo National Stadium on Sunday, dumping the three-time GOtv Shield champions out of the tournament in the round of 16.
Batoto ba Mungu will have only themselves to blame after missing countless chances in the first half and were punished by a determined Sharks side which has been on a roll, failing to lose a single match since late April.
Juma struck twice in a space of 30 minutes, adding on to Paul Kamau’s first half goal as William Muluya’s men kept their hope of reaching the final alive.
Umaru Kassumba scored Sofapaka’s goal in the 87th minute, but it was only consolation as the damage was already done.
Goal keeper George Opiyo, standing in for the absent Mathias Kigonya who is away in Spain with the KPL All-Star team gifted Sharks with opening goal just two minutes to half time when he drifted off his line way above the 18-yard box.
Kamau, playing his third match this season simply lifted the ball over the advancing Opiyo, punishing Sofapaka for all their missed chances.
Sofapaka had found space inside the Kariobangi Sharks box on numerous occasions, but they could not get the right formula to break the deadlock.
Michael Oduor had the first attempt for the 2014 champions in the seventh minute, noticing Sharks keeper Robert Mboya off his line, but his attempt from close to the halfway line was wide.
On the other end, Massoud Juma’s ferociously curled freekick from the left was well saved by Opiyo for a corner that wasn’t put into good use.
Sofapaka continued to dominate the early proceedings and Ezekiel Okare had a golden chance when he was picked out by Oduor unmarked inside the box but he was too quick to make an attempt at goal, Mboya making an easy catch.
In the 21st minute, Sharks built up play beautifully with Mathew Tayo backheeling the ball for Juma at the edge of the box, but Sofapaka midfielder Hillary Echesa backtracking managed a superb tackle to pluck the ball off Juma’s feet as he went for the trigger.
Sofapaka had more chances to score, but they seemed to be off the mood. In the 29th minute, Umaru Kasumba picked out Oduor with an incisive through pass, but the midfielder’s effort at goal was wide.
In the 33rd minute, Sofapaka had an even better chance when Willis Ouma’s lofted ball from deep in defense found Okare, but the forward took too much time with the ball, the Sharks defense managing to poke it off.
It fell on Kassumba who once again failed to act on it first time and was challenged as he went to pull the trigger, the Ugandan forward bungling over with the entire Sofapaka team crying for a penalty.
They were punished for the missed chances two minutes to the break when Kamau simply lifted the ball over the advancing keeper who was way off his line trying to claim a long ball.
In the second half, Sharks came in with more vigor and it only took them seven minutes to double their lead. Juma picked up a superb long range pass from Kamau, lifting the ball over the advancing Opiyo.
The goal drew in a punch in Sofapaka’s balloon and they deflated with Sharks picking up. Three minutes after they went 2-0 up, Elly Asieche almost scored against his former side with a shot from close range, but Opiyo saved.
Sharks had built up a swift move from the left with Juma breaking off from his markers before cutting back for Asieche who was well positioned inside the box. Another brilliant chance presented itself in the 57th minute when Kennedy oduor misjudged a long ball, but Juma could not beat Opiyo one on one.
The deflated Sofapaka had a chance to half the deficit five minutes later when confusion in the Kariobangi Sharks defense from a Bernard Mang’oli through pass found Kassumba, but the Ugandan shot over even after side-stepping keeper Mboya.
But Sharks kept on their A game and they got the third in the 83rd minute when Juma got the second after breaking the offside trap and despite Opiyo saving his initial shot, he picked up the rebound and banged it home.