Kariobangi Shark made a gallant comeback to hold Ulinzi Stars to a 3-3 draw in a thrilling SportPesa Premier League match at Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Wednesday.
The soldiers led 3-1 at interval and when they were all poised to avenge the first leg 3-1 defeat, defensive errors and lack of concentration saw them surrender the lead.
The soldiers should thank lady luck for snatching a point from the swift Sharks.
The misfiring soldiers have now amassed 43 points and are remaining with two matches against Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) away in Machakos on Sunday before winding up their campaign with a home fixture against relegated Mt Kenya United on May 29.
"It's painful to drop points in a match that you have led for more than an hour only to be punished because of lack of concentration,” a dejected Ulinzi coach Benjamin Nyangweso said.
Sharks head coach William Muluya described the comeback as a “mighty show of character by his charges."
"We conceded three goals within a span of 15 minutes but the turn around we made in the second half paid dividends,” said coach Muluya.
Ulinzi's towering striker Oscar Wamalwa, who has rediscovered his touch under Nyangweso, proved his worth in the fifth minute when he fired past goalkeeper Gad Mathews with a powerful shot.
However, even before the handful Ulinzi fans could finish their celebrations, Sharks launched a counter attack that saw Fidel Oringa level the scores after Harrison Mwendwa delivered a pin-point cross.
Wamalwa, who was a thorn in the flesh of the Sharks defence, should have given Ulinzi the lead in the 13th minute but his blockbuster missed the target.
Sharks were forced into an early substitution after Kenya Under-23 midfielder Sven Yidah limped out of the pitch with an injury after falling awkwardly in an aerial challenge. Shaphan Oyugi took his place.
Churchill Muloma gave Ulinzi the lead yet again on 20 minutes when he picked a loose ball inside the box to blast past Mathew.
Four minutes, later Justine Onuonga brought in a cross that was superbly executed by Elvis Nandwa.
Muluya rested Fidel Oringa and Mwendwa and introduced Julius Masaba and Henry Juma in the second half.
These two changes turned the tide against Ulinzi as Masaba reduced the arrears on 66 minutes with a first-time shot that caught goalkeeper James Saruni flat-footed.
A minute later, the on-fire Masaba was on the mark again, completing his double with a superb header to deny Ulinzi victory.
On the opposite side Nyangweso introduced Omar Bora Afya, Enosh Ochieng’ and Ezekiel Okare for Onuonga, Wamalwa and Nandwa.