Sofaka count blessings after escaping the axe
2009 winners survive the drop on a dramatic last day as Ushuru exit top flight
Eight years and counting in the top flight league it is for 2009 champions Sofapaka after they claimed an audacious exit from the relegation zone on a dramatic last day of the Sportpesa Premier League.
Despite trailing 1-0 to Thika United early in the match, Sofapaka showed the will and desire to keep their elite football league status as they went on to win 5-1 and coupled with Ushuru’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of Posta Rangers, Batoto Ba Mungu survived as Ushuru were shown the door.
“We are very delighted to have remained in the Premier League. Everybody worked hard for the course and we hope to do even better next year,” said Noah Abich, the chief architect of Batoto Ba Mungu’s survival and now alongside Ulinzi Stars and league top scorer John Makwata, they are prime candidate for Footballer of the Year in a season where no standout performer in the top three has come out tops.
All that could go right went right for Sofapaka in Machakos as Thika were reduced to just nine men by the 70th minute by which time they were trailing Sofapaka by three goals.
Captain Dennis Odhiambo and midfielder Baraka Badi received red cards midway through the second half. Nigerian striker Onwudi Chibueze scored Thika’s lone goal while Sofapaka’s goal glut came via veterans Moses Odhiambo , Noah Abich, Ezekiel Okare’s two strikes and an own goal from Thika’s Vincent Nyaberi.
Champions Tusker crowned a successful season with a 1-0 victory over deposed holders Gor Mahia with inform striker Allan Wanga netting the all important goal
The battle for third position was won by Ulinzi Stars, who ruthlessly crushed Bandari 4-2 at their Afraha Stadium grounds.
Posta Rangers, architects of Ushuru’s drop from the top flight, settled for an inspiring fourth place finish while Chemelil Sugar wound up fifth after drawing 1-1 with Mathare United at the Chemelil Sports Complex. Sixth place went to Western Stima, who drew 0-0 with Kakamega neighbours Homeboyz. With nothing to play for, Nairobi City Stars folded 2-1 against Sony Sugar, a result that saw the sugar millers finish in ninth place.
Gor Mahia’s Erick Ouma controls the ball under challenge from Tusker’s Martin Kiiza (L) and Osborne Monday.