NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8 – A spirited second half performance saw Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) FC come from a goal down to beat Sofapaka 2-1 in a Kenyan Premier League clash at a rain-drenched Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Wednesday afternoon.
The victory saw Zedekiah Otieno’s on form bankers move to fifth in the standings with 24 points while Sofapaka slumped to ninth.
New signing Collins Wakhungu broke the deadlock for Batoto ba Mungu but the bankers struck back with two second half goals from substitute Victor Omondi and Brian Ochieng.
In tough playing conditions, Sofapaka broke the deadlock in the 18th minute with their second shot on target, new signing Wakhungu’s shot slipping through Allan Owiny’s legs after being brilliantly played through by Ronald Okoth.
The soggy nature of the pitch had made it difficult for both teams to play the ball on the ground and whenever they did, the mistakes ended up in comical instances with players slipping on their backsides and the ball stagnating on the ground.
Just four minutes after breaking the deadlock, Okoth and Wakhungu almost combined again for a possible second, but this time, Wakhungu’s goal bound effort from Okoth’s cutback was deflected for a corner.
In the 24th minute, Sofapaka created another brilliant scoring chance when Sammy Imbuye’s ball from midfield landed on Elli Asieche behind the KCB defense, but the midfielder miscued his shot with only the keeper to beat.
KCB gradually grew into the game and their close chance of drawing level came in the 28th minute when Imbuye almost turned the ball into his own net trying to cut out Dennis Odhiambo’s cross, but keeper Isaiah Wakasala reacted well to save.
The shot stopper was called into another good save in the 34th minute when he leaped well to his left to palm away a curling effort from Simon Abuko.
The winger should have put the bankers level a minute to the break when Wakasala’s weak punch off an Enock Agwanda cross landed on Abuko, but he shot the ball straight back to the keeper.
At the start of the second half, KCB coach Otieno threw in a double sub, Abuko and Samuel Mwangi coming off for Ian Mutanda and Omondi.
The changes paid immediate dividends, Omondi scoring just three minutes after coming on, connecting and folllwing through on goal a cross from former Sofapaka player Dennis Odhiambo.
They doubled their tally in the 69th minute, Ochieng scoring what would be the winner with a brilliant side footed effort from the edge of the box after Sofapaka struggled to clear a cross from Enock Agwanda.
Batoto ba Mungu brought in Kepha Aswani for Okoth in a bid to spice up the attack. The veteran Aswani showed glimpses of his quality just minutes after coming on with a shot from range but it was well collected by a fully stretched Owiny in the KCB goal.
In the final three minutes of the game, KCB went defensive with Zico pulling out striker Reegan Otieno for defender Bolton Omwenga as he sought to guard his three points.