MACHAKOS, Kenya, Jan 5 – A flurry of goals in the second half saw 11-time Kenyan Premier League champions Tusker FC come from a goal down to beat Sofapaka 3-2 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Saturday afternoon.
Sofapaka had gone one up via a John Avire low shot five minutes from half time, but two goals within three minutes from Timothy Otieno and substitute Paul Kamau saw the brewers go up.
Justin Omary then put the icing on the cake for the brewers for their third goal, but he headed into his own net in added time to reduce the defficit for Sofapaka.
However, the brewers went on to pick a fourth consecutive win and move to 12 points after six rounds of matches.
Sofapaka on their side have now failed to win a single match since their opening day 2-1 victory over Mount Kenya United.
Coming off the backdrop of three back to back draws, Sofapaka knew they had to get a win especially with their owner and chairman Elly Kalekwa present for his first KPL match of the season.
Batoto ba Mungu had the first chances in the game with Dennis Odhiambo’s shot from range being well collected by the Tusker goalie Emery Mvuyekure, before the Rwandese once again pulled brilliant back to back saves nine minutes later.
Mike Oduor did well to find space on the right before laying up a smoot low cross met by Avire whose initial effort was saved by the keeper.
The Sofapaka forward pounced on the rebound and cut back for Odhiambo who was well positioned inside the box but his shot was turned behind for a corner by the Rwandese keeper.
Tusker were gradually growing into the game and in the 20th minute, the brewers launched a quick counter attack with Boniface Muchiri laying a cross from the left, but it was cut out by Soter Kayumba.
Four minutes on the other end, Avire who was getting the chances flying his way broke into the box before shooting low, but his effort was saved by Mvuyekure.
On the other end, Richard Aimo made a great finger tip save to turn the ball behind for a corner when Sidney Ochieng rose high to dink in a header from Rodgers Aloro’s cross from the right.
But, Sofapaka kept the pressure and five minutes from time they broke the deadlock when Avire scored his third of the season with a low shot 25 yards out after Dennis Odhiambo poked a freekick his way.
But the brewers raced back in the second half with two quickfire goals in the 47th and 49th minutes.
First, Timothy Otieno broke on the right before striking a superb shot from inside the area beating Aimo at his near post. Two minutes later, Tusker were 2-1 up when Paul Kamau with basically his first touch of the ball headed past Aimo off a Muchiri cross.
Immediately, Sofapaka boss Melis Medo was bolted into a change, Umaru Kassumba coming on for Cornelius Juma.
Tusker kept pounding and in the 62nd minute, Aimo was forced to make another good save at point blank to deny Muchiri after Kamau’s ball had landed on him graciously unmarked at the backpost.
From the resultant corner, Tusker were 3-1 up. Omary glanced in a header at the far post with the first assistant referee adjudging it to have crossed the line amidst protest from Sofapaka players who were lamenting an earlier foul on keeper Aimo.
The shot-stopper had to go out from the collision with a Tusker FC player and was replaced by Burundian Justin Ndikumana who was coming to make his debut with his paperwork having gone through on deadline day yesterday.
With 20 minutes to go, Sofapaka made their last change, youngster Tevin Omutere coming on for Oduor.
Sofapaka piled pressure for the equalizer and they were fortunate to get it in added time when Omary scored on the wrong end, heading in a cross from Kasuti as he tried to cut it out with his keeper off the line.