BY STEVE AYOO
Football Kenya Division One side Bungoma Superstars suffered a double heartbreak as their dream run in the FKF Shield came to a crushing finale after they fell to a 4-2 post-match penalty defeat against holders Kariobangi Sharks.
Idd Wasike’s header after 78 minutes off a cross from Christopher Wasike had put Bungoma to within just over ten minutes of producing yet another upset, only for Eric Kapaito to deliver heartbreak number 1 by grabbing a stoppage time equalizer and send the match to penalties.
Sharks keeper Mathew Gad delivered heartbreak number 2 with a heroic show in the shoot-outs as he stopped two penalties to earn his team a 4-2 victory and an unprecedented fourth successive Shield semi-final appearance.
Bungoma gave a good account of themselves and occasionally reminded Sharks of the quality they possess with some fine build ups but they barely tested Gad, save for a first half chance that was blasted over.
Duke Abuya was Sharks’ most dangerous player and twice came close to grabbing a goal in the opening half but he couldn’t put away some gilt-edged chances as the half ended barren.
George Abege and then Abuya were both denied one-on-one chances by visiting keeper Geoffrey Simiyu as Sharks piled on the pressure.
James Mazembe, a second half substitute, looked lively down the left wing while fellow substitute Lokale added height to Sharks attack which increasingly looked devastating.
The pressure paid off just before the fourth official lifted his board up to show four minutes of additional time as Kapaito scrambled home the equalizer.
With the match ending even, there could only be one winner in the post match penalties; Sharks who grabbed the last remaining semi-final spot.
They will face KCB FC who earlier in the day had thumped National Super League side Bidco United 4-1. Bolton Omwenga, Victor Omondi, Kennedy Owino and captain Michael Kibwage netted for the Bankers with Dinken Mwema netting Bidco’s consolation with a stunning free-kick.
The other semi-final will pit coast-based sides Bandari FC and SS Assad who beat Western Stima and Congo Boys respectively.
The semifinals will be played on May 12, 2019, with the final slated for June 1, 2019.
Winners of the competition will earn a spot to represent Kenya in the preliminary rounds of the Caf Confederations Cup.