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High flying Bandari hit Sofapaka in Machakos

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Bandari FC forward Hassan Abdallahis chased down by Sofapaka players during their league match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 16, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

MACHAKOS, Kenya, Dec 16 – High flying Bandari came from a goal down to beat Sofapaka FC 2-1 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos and pick their second three points of the season after beating holders Gor Mahia 2-1 last weekend.

Wycliffe Ochomo came off the bench to score the winner in the second half after Yema Mwana had drawn the dockers level.

Kepha Aswani had put Sofapaka ahead scoring the second quickest goal hitting the back of the net after just 35 seconds.

In other results, Western Stima continued with their fine run picking their second consecutive win with a 1-0 result over 11-time champions Tusker FC while Posta Rangers bounced back to winning ways with a 2-1 win over Mount Kenya United in Nakuru.

Military side Ulinzi Stars also bounced back after losing their season opener with a 3-1 result over KCB.

But it was at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos that the game of the week was, the high flying Bandari taking on Melis Medo’s new look Sofapaka.

Bandari FC skipper Felly Mulumba goes in for a tackle against Sofapaka forward John Avire during a Kenyan premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 16, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Bandari came into the tie with confidence oozing from their veins having started their season with a 2-1 win at home against champions Gor Mahia while Sofapaka were coming in off a similar result over Mount Kenya.

And, the 2009 champions got into the thick of things within the opening minute, Aswani tapping home at the back post from a well measured Cliff Kasuti cross off the right.

Bandari should have made an immediate response on the other end, but Richard Aimo in between the sticks for Sofapaka made a brilliant point blank save with the Congolese having gone through on goal.

The game was off to a pacy start and in the ninth minute, Faruk Shikhalo made a brilliant finger tip save to deny Sofapaka from their second after Michael Oduor had seen him off his line ands gone for a scorching shot from distance.

As the game progressed, so did Bandari grow into the game.

In the 26th minute they had another chance when Abdallah Hassan picked the ball from range and gone for a shot, but Aimo once again adjusted himself well to go low and save after the ball took a slight deflection.

Bandari FC winger Abdallah Hassan vies for the ball with Sofapaka forward Kepha Aswani during a Kenyan premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 16, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Ten minutes later, Abdallah had another chance when a cross from Fred Nkata on the left landed on his path at the backpost but his connecting header was once again well collected by Aimo.

At the start of the second half, Sofapaka almost two up when Aswani rose in to head a cross from Kasuti but the effort went inches wide.

Medo then made changes which would prove to be costly. Elli Asieche who had done well on the right flank was withdrawn for new boy Faina Jacobs.

With the change, Kasuti who was playing at wingback was pushed upfront while Faina moved into the right side of defense.

Bandari sought to capitalize on the new man there and then and they made it 1-1 in the 57th minute when Mwana finished off calmly inside the box from a swiftly executed counter attack.

With the equalizer, Bandari grew in confidence and threw more bodies forward as they looked to get the game over and done with.

They were almost caught for their confidence when Sofapaka launched a ball upfield, Shikhalo failing in his bid to punch it away off his line and the ball landing to Kasuti. However, the winger could not lift the ball beyond the keeper, Shikalo managing to stick a foot out and block the shot.

From the miss, Sofapaka were made to pay immediately.

Bandari FC winger Abdallah Hassan tries to dribble past Sofapaka midfielder Michael Oduor during a Kenyan premier League match at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 16, 2018. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Kasuti lost the ball deep in the Bandari half and the ball was launched into a counter attack by Yema Mwana who beat both Jacobs and Mousa Omar for speed before cutting back for substitute Ochomo to tap home with Aimo off his line.

Batoto ba Mungu should have made an immediate response after going down when substitute Piston Mutamba did well to shield a long ball on his chest before teeing up Oduor through on goal but somehow the midfielder could not hit the target with a gaping goalmouth.

Having thrown away a 1-0 lead, Sofapaka pushed for an equalizer and should have had at least a goal with Mutamba bearing the chances.

First his effort with a freekick from good scoring range was acres over the bar while his second attempt was with a shot inside the box which was an easy catch for Shikalo.

Three minutes to time, Sofapaka had another chance off a counter when John Avire rushed in from the left but one on one with Shikalo, the keeper came off tops with a save.

The ball was cut back to the edge of the box and met by Dennis Odhiambo whose powerful shot was deflected for a corner.

Despite the late efforts, Sofapaka couldn’t get their act together in finishing.

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