Sofapaka kick started their season on a wrong foot after going down 1-0 to visiting Tanzanian side Azam in an entertaining fixture played at the Nyayo Stadium on Sunday.
Azam’s goal came in the 60th minute when substitute Gaudence Mwaikimba converted a spot kick following a handball by Ugandan midfielder Abdalla Nyanzi.
The first real chance came in the 16th minute when Hamisi Mcha hit the upright after a well taken free kick that left keeper Dancun Ochieng and the entire Sofapaka defence at a standstill.
Sofapaka responded four minutes later when former Tusker winger Patrick Kagogo slid in a low cross that was well intercepted by former Tusker man Jockins Atudo who was playing his second match at home after the much publicized move to the Tanzanian Giants last December.
Sofapaka had two more chances before the break with Hillary Echesa and Felly Mulumba on the offensive only to be denied by the outstanding keeper Aishi Salum.
Sofapaka coach David Ouma used the match to test his new squad with most debutants giving a good show on their first assignment.
Ugandan import Nyanzi was quite shaky in midfield and had to be substituted by Kenyan international Antony Kimani in the 65th minute but this was a little too late as Stewart Hall’s men controlled the game for much of the remaining time.
Azam are preparing for the second half of the Tanzanian premier league that starts in less than a month’s time. They will also represent Tanzania in the Confederations Cup that starts in February.
Sofapaka are gearing up for the new Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season that starts on February 16. David Ouma’s men will be looking to make amends following a disappointing season last year.
Azam will play KCB on Tuesday in another build up match as they wind up their Kenyans tour. They lost 2-1 to AFC Leopards on Saturday.