NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 22 – Elvis Rupia continued to show AFC leopards they will not miss John Mark Makwatta much as he scored a brace, Ingwe beating Sofapaka 2-1 at the Mumias Complex on Saturday to complete a first double over Batoto ba Mungu since 2013.
The maximum points in Mumias took Ingwe to fifth place with 37 points, eight shy of leaders and arch rivals Gor Mahia who face Zoo Kericho on Sunday.
While AFC were coming into tehgame reeling from a last league defeat against Tusker FC, Sofapaka were riding on their 3-1 thrashing of Gor before the league went for the Cup break and they expected to inflict the same sting on AFC.
Anthony Kimani and John Baraza, two ex-Kenyan internationals who faced each other on numerous occasions as players were playing against each other as coaches for the first time ever.
At the end of the day it was Kimani who outsmarted Baraza, leading Ingwe to a vital three points.
Sofapaka were off fast off the blocks with Ugandan Brian Kayanja having a sniff at goal after five minutes with a shot that was saved by Benjamin Ochan after being played through by Elli Asieche.
In the 14th minute, Batoto had another chance when Mohamed Kilume set Jedinak Nana through, but the Ghanaian’s shot was once again kept out by the hawkeyed Ochan.
In the second half, Leopards resumed with all fangs out, seeking to take a bite into the lead and they did that just five minutes after the restart when Rupia converted from the penalty spot.
Willis Ouma was adjudged to have handled inside the box and Rupia stepped up to convert for his eighth goal of the season and the third in AFC colors.
Thirteen minutes to time, AFC sealed the victory with Rupia completing his brace after reacting fastest to a lose ball inside the box before chipping over an advancing Richard Aimo.
Sofapaka clawed back one goal in the third minute of added time when Nana pounced on a poorly defended ball to halve the deficit, but it was too little too late.