Sofapaka captain Lawrence Juma celebrates after scoring a goal during their FKF Premier League match against KCB at Ruaraka Grounds. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Lawrence Juma’s first half wonder goal is all that Sofapaka needed to end their poor run in the FKF Premier League and consequently deny KCB a chance to open a three-point gap at the top of the table.

Batoto Ba Mungu came into the match at Ruaraka Grounds having lost their last two matches (3-0 Nairobi City Stars and 2-1 Gor Mahia), hence putting coach Ken Odhiambo’s future at the club under scrutiny.

Kariobangi Sharks also suffered a 2-1 defeat against Nairobi City Stars at Utalii Grounds.

And while the win helped Sofapaka (22 points) move into the 11th spot, KCB who are still joint-top with AFC Leopards (36), will be hoping both Ingwe and third-placed Tusker drop points today against Bidco United and Vihiga United respectively.  

The important goal of the game was scored in the 35th minute when Juma’s long range effort found goalkeeper Joseph Ochuka flat-footed. The Kenyan international nearly doubled the lead from a similar situation in the 84th minute only for him to be denied by the crossbar. He has so far scored nine goals in the league.

Frustrated with the way his players defended as their five game unbeaten run came to a sudden halt, KCB coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ termed Juma’s goal as a fluke.

“We had many chances in this game, but unfortunately we wasted them. And just look at the goal they (KCB) scored; that’s a fluke because they got it from nowhere. There is a way my players could have blocked him (Juma) but one of them failed to react fast and allowed him to score. But you can’t tell me you can score with your bac facing the goal and say you can repeat that several times,” said Zico.

But it was a different view from Odhiambo who appeared to be relieved with the victory.

“I was pleased with how the boys pushed themselves and perfectly executed our game plan in the second half (sitting back and then counter attack),” said Odhiambo.

“We knew KCB’s strength was on the flanks and once we locked them, they came into the midfield and that’s how I knew we had already won the match.

“Lawrence’s goal was not a fluke. This is something we had talked about because we had studied their matches and we knew their weak link. He nearly scored another one from a similar position, so whoever is saying it was a fluke then he wasn’t watching the game.”


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