• Sofapaka back at the top of the league
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Aug 27, 2010-

Three quickfire goals in 12 minutes of the second half earned defending champions Sofapaka a 3-1 comeback win over the fast fading Mathare United to reclaim leadership of the Kenya Premier League on wednesdayat the Nyayo National Stadium.

After Mathare United took the lead in the 14th minute of a dour first half through Kevin Kimani's penalty, the match finally exploded into life right after the restart, with both teams creating goalscoring chances.

However, it was new signing Osborne Monday who led the rescue mission with a sublime 67th minute free-kick from right outside the box that completely fooled Martin Musalia in Mathare's goal.

Barely three minutes before the Slum Boys could regroup for an onslaught, an unmarked Bob Mugalia collected a cross from the left to bury the ball high into the roof of the net.

The goal completely knocked the wind from Mathare's sails with Sofapaka fully taking control of the midfield. By this time, Austin Makacha and the unfit Simeon Mulama had evidently lost the midfield battle to their opposite numbers Humphrey Ochieng and Osborne Monday.

Then in the 79th minute, goal-poacher John Baraza latched on to a delicately lobbed ball, beat his marker Haevanar Maloba for pace before calmly toe-poking the ball beyond Musalia's despairing dive to seal the win for Sofapaka.

Baraza, KPL's leading scorer, now has 12 goals - just 5 strikes shy of his 17 goal-mark that earned him the coveted golden boot last season.

The win catapulted Sofapaka back to the top of the log with 39 points same as erstwhile leaders Ulinzi Star who now trail them on an inferior goal difference. The military side, however, have a match in hand.

Early in the second half, before Sofapaka hit back, match referee, Tom Onyango, waved play on to Mathare's appeal for a penalty after they had a player felled in the box.

But speaking in a post-match interview, Sofapaka head coach Sam Ssimbwa expressed satisfaction for the big win and sounded a thinly veiled warning to the other title hopefuls

“I came here (Kenya) to win the league and am confident of my boys ability to get the job done” said the Ugandan tactician. “

However, Ssimbwa predicted a frantic jostle to the title in the remain eight matches and tipped Gor Mahia and Tusker as potentially the two teams that could take the contest down to the wire.

Steve Omondi

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