Thika United dump out Sofapaka from the competition after winning 5-3 on post match penalties in a tight match played at a slippery Nyayo National StadiumNew comers Thika United needed post-match penalties to edge out Sofapaka 5-3 on post match penalties in the opening match of their Kenyan Premier League KPL Top 8 tournament played at Nyayo Stadium on Wednesday.
The match ended 1-1 after normal time but it was a dramatic end to full time with all two goals scored in the late stages of the fixture.
After a barren draw for most of the match, Zimbabwean striker Obadiah Tarumbwe put Sofapaka ahead in the 89th minute after finishing off a Thomas Wanyama effort.
However, with Sofapaka celebrating their lead late in the match, defender Eugine Asike handled in the box in injury time gifting their opponents a penalty which Ezekiel Odera scored to level matters before the final whistle was blown.
On the penalties, Thika started well with Odera once again beating David Okello. However, Sofapaka had a bad start with Indeche stopping Osborne Monday’s penalty.
Dirkir Glay scored the second for Thika with experienced John Baraza cooly converting Sofapaka’s second kick.
George Owino and Obadiah Tarumbwa scored two others for Sofapaka with Simon Mbugua and Cliftonm Miheso also having scored to keep the game at 4-3.
Captain Dennis Odhiambo’s last kick was the decider and the experienced midfielder did no mistake, sending Okello the wrong way to earn Thika a slot in the semi-finals.In the first half, both sides seemed to content to stay back and created few chances at goal. It was Thika who had the first chance with Sofapaka defender Felly Mulumba being forced to hack down Cliffton Miheso at the end of the first half as the full back came down hard on the opponents goal.
A few minutes into the second half, James Situma came close with a point blank shot from a free-kick awarded after Michael Luvutsi had handled outside the box.
Miheso then had another opportunity to score in the 70th minute when he headed home an Ezekiel Odera effort.
Sofapaka coach David Ouma then introduced John Baraza and Thomas Wanyama in a bid to better their chances at goal but it was Thika United’s forward line that threatened more with Francis Kahata and David Kingatua particularly troubling the Sofapaka backline.
The Brookside sponsored boys will now either meet Ulinzi Stars or Gor Mahia who play next Wednesday.