DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania, Jan 25 – Kariobangi Sharks survived a nervous penalty shoot-out before edging out a stubborn Mbao FC 6-5 and set up an all-Kenyan final of the SportPesa Cup on Sunday where they will face Bandari FC.
The game was forced into penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation time.
After skipper Patillah Omotto missed, Sven Yidah, Tom Teka, Geoffrey Shiveka and Nickson Omondi ensured Sharks remained in contention with Mbao’s Hamim Abdulkarim hitting the bar for a 4-4 draw in the first five.
In the sudden death kicks, Eric Juma and Mike Bodo scored while Amos Charles struck the bar for Mbao to see the Kenyan side go into the final.
Both sides employed a cautious approach to the game and the chances were few and far in between. The two sets of players chose to slow down the pace and only attacked on impulse.
Mbao, confidence boosted after ejecting defending champions Gor Mahia had the first effort at goal in the second minute of the match, Khamis Said trying his luck with a shot from range that however went over the bar.
Four minutes later, Herbart Lukindo pounced on the ball after Geoffrey Shiveka’s attempted clearance wasn’t succeful, but his shot was wide off target.
Sharks were not as dangerous as they were in their first game against Yanga, but had three shots on target, all saved by the opposing keeper Metacha Mnata.
First, Duke Abuya who scored twice against Yanga tried an effort on the half turn inside the box but Mnata parried it away with Harrison Mwenda not doing much with the rebound.
Abuya had another effort with a shot parried away before George Abege also tried, but he couldn’t find a way past the keeper.
Things didn’t change either in the second half and Sharks’ evening was spoilt with Abuya, man of the match against Yanga coming off with an injury and was replaced by Eric Kapaito, making his first appearance after returning from a long injury spell.
In the 70th minute, Sharks should have made the most of a half chance when keeper Mnata parried away a Patillah Omotto corner to Shiveka’s path at the backpost, but the defender could not muster a shot on target.
Sharks boss William Muluya made more changes, Sidney Lokale coming on for Vincent Wasambo.
Lokale made his presence felt at the back being a constant menace and in the 75th minute he came close with a well weighted shot from inside the box but keeper Mnata proved equal to the task.
Muluya made more changes with Eric Juma coming on for the jaded Mwenda while James Mazembe came on for Abege.
Sharks made their effort to score in the regular 90 minutes, but a combination of good defending and constant dragging of play saw the Mwanza-based Mbao push the game to spot-kicks.