NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 12 – Kenyan Premier League side Sofapaka came from a goal down to beat National Super League side Shabana 3-1 to clinch the Jamhuri Day Cup in a tie played at the Camp Toyoyo Ground on Wednesday afternoon.
Francis Oduor broke the deadlock for Shabana before Stephen Waruru drew the sides back on level terms at the stroke of halftime.
Substitute John Avire scored the second for Batoto ba Mungu before Michael Oduor drove the final nail on Shabana’s coffin from a sweeping counter attacking play from the 2009 league champions.
“It was a good match to try out different combinations and systems ahead of the weekend match against Bandari. Of course on top of it, it’s always good to win a trophy and we are happy,” Sofapaka boss Melis Medo said after the match.
Shabana was the better side in the opening quarter of an hour, but they didn’t have much to show for their possession and fancy passing, cheered on by a good crowd that had come out to support them.
Sofapaka had the first sting at goal after 18 minutes, Mico Justin trying his luck with a curling effort from the edge of the area but Shabana keeper Tom Muthomi pushed it away for a corner.
Immediately on the other end, the NSL side broke the deadlock thanks to some shambolic defending from Sofapaka, Oduor curling the ball beyond Richard Aimo after the ball landed on his path unmarked on the left.
The goal injected some confidence into the second-tier side and they kept possession more. However, Sofapaka were always dangerous when they had possession of the ball.
On the half hour mark, Oduor came close for Batoto ba Mungu with a rasping shot from distance which keeper Muthomi once again turned behind for a corner. Five minutes later, Dennis Odhiambo also came close with a freekick but the busy Shabana keeper was equal to the task.
Sofapaka went level at the stroke of halftime when Waruru converted from the spot after Piston Mutamba was pushed from behind by Andrew Ongwae as he tried to control a ball.
In the second half the experienced Sofapaka side came in much better with Medo making changes including pulling out Mico for Tom Adwar while Waruru and Mutamba came off for Avire and Aswani respectively.
Avire made his presence felt in the 63rdminute with a well powered header off an Oduor cross.
On the other end, Sofapaka keeper Aimo was forced to work, twice saving from Moses Arita and a freekick from Ongwa.
Sofapaka though put the game to rest with nine minutes left when Asieche who had come on for Dennis Odhiambo engineered a super counter feeding off Oduor who took a one-time shot to beat Muthomi.