Football Football

Sharks maul Wazito, AFC hit Sony in Awendo

Kariobangi Sharks players celebrate one of their goals in a Kenyan Premier League fixture against Wazito at the Camp Toyoyo ground on March 4, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4- Eric Kapaito struck a hatrick as Kariobangi Sharks picked their biggest win yet this season with an assured performance as they outclassed Premier League newbies Wazito 4-1 at the Camp Toyoyo Ground in Nairobi on Sunday.

Elsewhere, AFC Leopards picked their second win of the season with a 2-0 win away to Sony Sugar at the Awendo Stadium while in Thika, Mathare United failed in their bid to close down on leaders Gor Mahia, drawing 1-1 with Thika United.

At the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru, Tusker’s struggles this season continued as they lost 1-0 to soldiers Ulinzi Stars, the soldiers picking their second win this season.

It was Sharks however who provided the day’s best entertainment, hitting Wazito on a day they had specially set as their own fan-day in a rain soaked Camp Toyoyo. They were aided by horrendous errors from the Wazito backline which gifted them easy goals.

Kapaito had for himself a man of the match performance, not only scoring thrice but also setting up the opener for Duke Abuya.

Sharks who had not won in their last three matches came into the tie hungry to write off their underachievement and showed their hunger from early on.

They had their first opportunity at goal in the seventh minute when Kapaito cited Wazito keeper Eric Ogwade off his line, but his effort at volleying the ball first time into the net failed as the ball went wide.

It remained to be a tactical battle in the first quarter of an hour, but while Frank Ouna’s Wazito was held back in their shape, Sharks were up hitting every ball up in attack.

Wazito FC tactician Frank Ouna gestures instructions from the touchline during his side’s Kenyan Premier League clash against Kariobangi Sharks at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on March 4, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Wazito’s structure finally collapsed with two quick fire goals in the 22nd and 24th minutes, all coming off errors. Kapaito stole the ball off Wazito defender Brian Odhiambo before poking it for Abuya who had the simple task of guiding the ball into an empty net.

Two minutes later, they were 2-0 down this time keeper Ogwade gifting them with a goal. The shot stopper’s attempt at clearing the ball from the right fell on kapaito’s path and the attacker signed at the beginning of the season from Talanta took a first time aim at goal hitting the bull’s eye.

Sharks should have been three up in the 27th minute but Abuya was selfish with the ball. The forward strode away on the left, and from a tight angle attempted to beat the keeper who saved the effort for a corner.

The high pressing game insisted upon by Sharks coach William Muluya had proved a masterstroke as they won many balls off the Wazito backline but could not utilize with the chances.

Wazito halved the deficit to carry some hopes of a comeback three minutes to the break when centre back Odhiambo rose highest inside the box to nod home a corner from Joakim Omollo.

However, the error prone defender was pulled out at the beginning of the second half with coach Ouna moving off the five-man backline that had failed to work and in came forward Piston Mutamba.

But even with the change of personnel and formation, Sharks continued to dominate.

Wazito FC defender Kennedy Ayako vies for the ball with Kariobangi Sharks’ Duke Abuya during a Kenyan Premier League clash at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on March 4, 2018. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Patillah Omotto came close to adding Sharks’ third with a wonderful curling freekick from the edge of the box but the effort went inches over.

On the hour mark though, it was 3-1 and a sucker punch to Wazito’s effort at a comeback. It was another horrendous performance from the keeper who was caught out with a shot from distance by Kapaito.

The on-form forward almost nodded home another goal in the 68th minute but his header unmarked at the back post from a Michael Bodo cross went wide.

But there was no stopping the steam-rolling Sharks train as Kapaito completed his hatrick with a glancing header at the near post off a Henry Juma cross from the right.

Wazito had a late chance to finish off the game with some pride, but they wasted two chances, at a go, first Brian Oswe failing to beat John Oyemba one on one from a Joe Waithira cross with Omollo sending the rebound high into the sky.

Wazito remain 14th on the standings with four points after five matches while Sharks rise all the way to fourth from 10th with eight points.