NAKURU, Kenya, Sep 24- Massoud Juma struck a brace against his former employers as Kariobangi Sharks sailed to their first ever GOtv Shield final with a 2-0 win over Sony Sugar in a closely contested tie at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Sunday.
In a game of very few scoring opportunities, Sharks made use of Sony Sugar’s mistakes, going one better than last season when the bowed out at the same stage with a 4-1 loss against Ulinzi Stars at the same venue.
“I am very pleased with the effort the players had put in. When we started, our ultimate goal was to get to the final and getting here, it is purely because of the hard work put in by the players,” Sharks head coach William Muluya said after the match.
His Sony counterpart Salim Babu who maneuvered through Premier League opposition before getting to the final was left ruing defensive blips for the loss.
“We managed the game very well and when our initial plan did not work we changed and we began playing better. We lost today not because we didn’t play well but because we committed very small mistakes,” the tactician opined.
Juma opened the scoring in the 29th minute when he slapped the ball over advancing Sony keeper Kevin Omondi after Sony skipper Joseph Omweri misjudged a deep cross from Paul Kamau, handing the Sharks forward a one on one opportunity with the keeper.
Before the goal, none of the two sides had threatened much, with most of the duel concentrated in the middle of the pack with both keepers left to collect cross-balls, all of which didn’t pose much danger.
Sharks were forced into a sub with 10 minutes left to halftime, midfielder Patillah Omotto limping off injured after a knock and replaced by Christopher Kimanthi.
In the second half Sony came back with more pressure, head coach Salim Babu bringing in Laban Gambareko to boost the attack.
In the 55th minute, Sony thought they should have had a penalty when Yema Mwana was pulled down by Wycliffe Otieno inside the box but referee Judith Muhonja waved play on.
On the other end 10 minutes later, Sven Yidah came close to doubling Sharks’ lead with his header from a Kamau corner going inches over. Juma had a chance a minute later after sprinting away on the left but his shot hit the side netting.
Sony piled pressure seeking an equalizer and experienced midfielder Fredrick ‘Uche’ Onyango had his shot inside the box blocked after some suspect defending by Sharks.
Yema Mwana had a perfect opportunity in the 73rd minute when he dived in to meet a Samuel Olare cross, but he missed it by an inch with a gaping goalmouth at his mercy.
Sony were punished for their own mistakes, a miss-pass from Nick Akoko in the middle of the pack intercepted by Kamau who in turn sent Juma through, breaking into the box and blasting the ball into the net.