NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21- Hassan Kikoyo stepped off the bench to hit a belter of a winner as Kakamega Homeboyz brought to an end a woeful run of three successive losses on the road with a 2-1 win over Kariobangi Sharks at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on Saturday afternoon.
Paul Kamau had equalized for Sharks with a well taken individual effort nine minutes from the restart, cancelling out Noah Wafula’s earlier goal.
The visitors were the brighter side throughout the opening half and had the most chances to break the deadlock. They deservedly went into the lead nine minutes from the break, Wafula punishing a simple loss of possession by the hosts to break the deadlock.
Sharks gave away a needless throw-in and Homeboyz started it quick, Keiphas Mutuu setting up Wafula one on one, the former Tusker man squeezing in the ball past John Oyemba’s near post.
Earlier on, Homeboyz had the chances, first Wycliffe Opondo trying his luck with a shot on his weaker left foot in the ninth minute but it went wide.
In the 13th minute, skipper Geoffrey Shiveka almost turned the ball into his own net as he tred to pass back to Oyemba who was off his line but luckily, the ball went wide.
Homeboyz had turned the tide against Sharks after keeper Arthur Arakaza had made a good save off a Patillah Omotto freekick from the edge of the area.
A minute later, Mutuu should have buried a brilliant chance after Moses Mudavadi stole the ball off Shiveka and released Mutuu through on goal, but the burly forward took a hurried shot that went wide.
Three minutes later, skipper James Situma had an effort with a long range freekick but it flew straight into Oyemba’s arms.
The visitors continued to pound their hosts who looked lost and were miles off their swift passing, possession kind of game.
Oyemba made a brilliant save to keep William Muluya’s men in the tie jumping to his left to tip over a well curled effort from Opondo from the edge of the area.
The pressure yielded in the 36th minute when Sharks were punished for sloppiness.
After conceding, Sharks seemed to have woken off their slumber and they began to attack. Duke Abuya came close in the 42nd minute when he dribbled away from three markers inside the box but his final shot went against the side netting.
At the stroke of half time, Eric Kapaito’s shot came off the upright when he took a shot on the half turn, the ball bouncing back into Arakaza’s face after being beaten by the initial shot.
In the second half though, Sharks came back with utmost determination to pick up at least a point off the tie and nine minutes into the restart, Kamau thundered an equalizer with a well taken goal.
The wingback drifted into the edge of the box unchallenged from the right before releasing a well taken shot that beat Arakaza.
Sharks kept the possession trying to open up the Homeboyz backline, bat the defense marshaled by Smith Ouko were astute in their defending.
As the game wore on, Homeboyz slowly crept back and 12 minutes to time substitute Kikoyo released a belter from the edge of the box catching keeper Oyemba off guard.