Nzoia Sugar stutter against Kariobangi Sharks as Sofapaka cruise past Posta Rangers

FKFPL Nzoia Sugar stutter against Kariobangi Sharks as Sofapaka cruise past Posta Rangers

Festus Chuma 18:55 - 27.05.2023

Nzoia squandered a chance to move to the second position on the league table.

Kariobangi Sharks edged Nzoia Sugar FC 1-0 in a Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) encounter at Sudi Stadium on Saturday after what was arguably the surprise result of the season.

After a cagey opening period, Nzoia began to get a grip on the game and tested Kariobangi Sharks' goalkeeper Gideon Ogweno through the likes of Mohammed Barisa and Hassan Beja.

The latter had a shot from just outside the penalty area palmed away by the former Migori Youth gloves-man midway through the first half in the hosts’ most notable chance.

Sharks for their part, offered the occasional threat on the counter, though lone striker Tyson Otieno did not quite receive the service he needed to keep Nzoia’s Humphrey Katasi on his toes.

Overall, a lackluster first half ended goalless with no major chances at either end.

It was more of the same in the second half, but arguably the best of the chances fell to the home side and they hit Sharks on the counter-attack.

Hassan Beja fired over when well placed before James Kibande forced a good save from Gideon Ogweno.

Sharks had an opportunity to take the lead in the 51st minute when Brian Otieno unleashed a low shot which was superbly saved by Katasi, who also gathered a free-kick attempt from Steve Omolo with ease.

With pressure mounting on their side, coach Salim Babu made changes, introducing Steve Otieno and James Mwangi, the team’s leading goal scorers and he would have been hoping to replicate the same exploits.

Sharks bombarded the hosts with long balls and they eventually broke the deadlock in the 61st-minute courtesy of midfielder Keith Imbali’s strike.

Nzoia Sugar then took control of the match with Mwangi and his counterpart Hassan Beja keen to find a late equalizer.

However Sharks stood firm at the back in the closing stages of the match, and ultimately they secured a 1-0 win over Nzoia Sugar.

Posta Rangers 1-2 Sofapaka

At Kasarani Annex, Sofapaka controlled the proceedings in the opening stages with Posta Rangers happy to sit back and launch quick counterattacks through the likes of Eliud Lokuwam and Vincent Wasambo.

Lokuwam was afforded space to pull the trigger from range and the former Gor Mahia striker forced goalkeeper Kevin Omondi into a fine diving save.

Posta managed to break the deadlock in the 20th minute from the spot courtesy of Michael Apudo, who scored his maiden goal of the season to hand the hosts the lead.

Sofapaka improved gradually as they began surging forward in numbers pressing the hosts' defence and they were awarded a free-kick in a promising area after Alex Imbusia was fouled. 

Batoto ba Mungu’s set-piece specialist Roy Okal stepped up and hit the upright from the set-piece, before defender Kennedy Ochieng cleared the ball for a throw-in.

The score was 1-0 during the half-time break with Sofapaka finishing the first half the stronger of the two teams, but they couldn't find the equalizer.

Posta Rangers came back rejuvenated following their half-time team talk with their coach John Kamau and they should have extended their lead in the first 15 minutes of the second half.

Patrick Otieno managed to round Kevin Omondi, but he sent his effort wide of the mark and Sofapaka survived a scare as their defence was exposed at the time.

Sofapaka deservedly hit back in the 71st minute when Ben Stanley played a clever cross to put Stephen Okala away and the striker headed home the loose ball for 1-1.

Eight minutes later the Batoto ba Mungu then found their second courtesy of Roddy Manga who sealed the win for Sofapaka.