NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 29- Bliss Kityo struck with six minutes of regulation time left as Muhoroni Youth came from a goal down to draw 1-1 with 2009 champions Sofapaka in a Kenyan Premier League tie at Nyayo Stadium on Saturday.
Sofapaka had gone ahead through substitute Ezekiel Okare’s contentious penalty, but the visitors who had been largely the better side in the encounter put up a spirited fight to draw level late on. It was a smack in the face for Batoto ba Mungu who just a minute earlier had missed a sitter through Feni Ali.
Muhoroni put up a structured and tactically disciplined display while the 2009 champions relied on long balls which were effectively dealt with by the Muhoroni backline, anchored by the calm and composed Paul Muchika.
Veteran Hillary Echesa had a chance for Sofapaka in the 10 th minute when his well calculated volley from an Umar Kassumba set up went inches over the bar.
On the other end, Muhoroni’s John Mark Otieno had two back-to-back chances. First he was sent through clean on goal by Ambrose Ayoyi, but his effort at goal was weak, rolling out of play.
The second chance was from a freekick in a favorable scoring position but he sent it straight to Mathias Kigonya’s arms.
In the 18th minute, Sofapaka’s Umar Kassumba had perhaps the half’s best chance with the ball begging for the slightest of touches to shake the net from inside the six yard box. The Ugandan raced in to meet a well curled freekick from Rodgers Aloro, but he missed the tap.
Three minutes later, Feni Ali had a chance with a shot on the turn from a Willis Ouma cross, but it was off target.
Muhoroni were doing well with building up play from the back, putting the ball down and distributing it well, but were not effective when it mattered most in the final third of attack.
In the 23rd minute, Ayoyi who had been impressive on the left wing broke into the box, but his shot at goal was a gift to Kigonya.
Two minutes from half time, the visitors should have gone ahead but were wasteful again. John Mark picked up Kityo inside the box with a defense splitting pass, but the forward took too many touches on the ball and his eventual shot went over.
In the second half, Sofapaka boss Sam Ssimbwa started off by pulling out Morven Otinya for Okare and the latter was on target just five minutes later, converting from the penalty spot after Pauk Muchika had brought down Michael Oduor inside the box.
The Muhoroni players protested the decision as Muchika had won the ball with Oduor coming in from the blind side.
Sofapaka thought they had gone 2-1 up in the 61st minute but Kassumba’s header from an Okare cross was ruled out for offside.
Eight minutes later, Michael Kilume had a thunderbolt well saved by the Muhoroni keeper after the visitors lost the ball cheaply.
Okare had a chance to make it two for himself and the team in the 72nd minute but he had a lazy effort well through on goal from a Bernard Mang’oli through pass.
Muhoroni boss Gilbert Selebwa then threw in all three of his allowed subs, pulling out Maxwell Onyango, John Mark and Daniel Otieno for Fred Ochieng, Hassan Kiyoyo and Faruk Muduola.
The changes enhanced Muhoroni’s attacking flow and they were rewarded in the 84th minute when a cool calm and composed Kityo picked up a long ball inside the box, skipped past one of his markers and buried the ball home.
Feni Ali had a late chance to win it for his side at the death but he shot straight at the keeper after breaking into a good scoring position inside the box.