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Sofapaka edge Kisumu All Stars to continue renaissance

Tuesday December 10 2019
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Sofapaka midfielder Sammy Imbuye (right) leaves Kisumu All Stars midfielder Seth Oyugi for dead during their Kenyan Premier League match at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on December 10, 2019. PHOTO | CHRIS OMOLLO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By CECIL ODONGO

Sofapaka Tuesday beat Kisumu All Stars 2-1 at Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos to climb to fifth place on the Kenyan Premier League table.

Sofapaka took the lead in the 11th minute through Elly Asieche's penalty after Brian Nyakan was fouled in the box by Kisumu All Stars defender Jeconia Ogendo.

Wesley Kemboi restored parity in the 37th minute burying the rebound after Sofapaka goalkeeper Richard Aimo had saved his penalty. Kepha Aswani netted the winner in the 70th minute before Asieche missed a chance to complete a brace in the 75th minute when his effort from the spot came off the bar.

Sofapaka coach John Baraza was elated after his team bagged maximum points saying they are now back in the title race.

"This was a very tough match because All Stars were determined to win. I'm happy we fought hard and got the winner. Our experience gave us an edge because they (Kisumu All Stars) really did well," said Baraza who is now unbeaten in five games since taking over from Divaldo Alves two months ago.

All Stars coach Henry Omino blamed off-pitch issues, travel logistics and unpaid salaries, for the loss.

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"We arrived here late and didn't even train for the match. However my players fought and gave their all in the entire match. We could have won this game if players were comfortable and their demands met," said an agitated Omino.

In the first half, All Stars fondly known as Otenga displayed good football and in the 25th minute striker Erick Otieno almost got the equaliser from a freekick which squirmed inches over the bar. Otieno, who partnered Kemboi upfront, was constantly denied by Aimo thereafter.

In the second half, All Stars were the better side as they camped in Sofapaka's half in search of the winner. They almost took the lead in the 57th minute when Nelson Amunga controlled a diagonal from Shadrack Omondi but shot wide.

Baraza reinforced his attack in the 57th minute introducing Mohamed Kasirye for Sammy Imbuye. Kasirye was fouled in the box but Asieche missed the subsequent penalty. But it didn't matter as Aswani's goal had already secured maximum points.

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