John Baraza’s Sofapaka beat Mathare United by the odd goal in a five-goal fest as they consolidated second spot in the Kenyan Premier League table.
First half goals from Kepha Aswani and Ellie Asieche were added onto by a second half stroke from the industrious Pistone Mutamba whose goal just about took the result away from the deep grinding visitors.
Aswani put the 2009 champions ahead in the 10th minute when he connected to an Asieche corner, the forward’s header somehow evading the attention of visiting keeper David Okello who made a howler in his quest to collect it.
Aswani’s contribution in the match would however come to an abrupt crescendo after he picked an injury that saw him limp off just five minutes after creating the difference.
Midfielder Teddy Osok came in to occupy the midfield space alongside Dennis Odhiambo and Asieche, the latter playing in the hole.
Mathare, who had seen Chrispin Oduor’s effort went just wide moments after they fell behind, were soon celebrating an equalizer, Francis Omondi beating Wycliffe Kasaya from the spot following Odhiambo’s hard ball inside the danger area.
Okello would then deny Mutamba’s expertly taken free-kick from the right but when the duo clashed again with 10 minutes to the breather, the keeper conceded a penalty after bringing down the former Wazito FC man who intercepted an undercooked back pass from fullback David Owino.
Asieche stepped forward and made the penalty count, giving his side a 2-1 advantage at the interval.
Mutamba was at the center of Sofapaka’s most promising moments upfront and he was duly rewarded for a busy day in office when his long strides allowed him to get in the end of another short back pass and this time round, he finished it, beating Okello before tapping into an empty net.
The hosts continued to create the better chances as Odhiambo tested Okello with a sow drive while Stephen Waruru sent a clear cut chance wide after being fed by Mutamba.
Mathare grew into the game as the minutes ticked and made sure of a nervy finish when substitute Alphonse Ndonye drilled home an unstoppable shot from the right to reduce the gap to one.
It was a case of too little too late though despite the Slum Boys honcho Francis Kimanzi throwing in another attacker Chris Ochieng into the mix. The result puts Sofapaka firmly in the grip of second spot with 40 points, 9 behind runaway leaders Gor Mahia who are undertaking Cecafa Club Championship duties in Tanzania and have three games in hand over their closest chasers.
Mathare dropped to fifth, six points adrift of their day’s conquers.
In other matches on the day, Salim Abdalla headed home the only goal as AFC Leopards beat Sony Sugar 1-0. Tusker registered a similar scoreline win over Nakumatt and so did Vihiga against hosts Wazito. Ulinzi Stars and Kariobangi Sharks canceled each other in a one-all draw while Nzoia and Posta Rangers shared a barren stalemate.