Jedinak Ameyaw struck late for Sofapaka as they salvaged a point from their 1-1 draw with Mathare United during Sunday’s Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos.
The Ghanaian’s 87th minute strike cancelled out Daniel Lual’s headed effort nine minutes after the restart and marked a fitting end to an exciting KPL encounter that featured numerous chances for both sides.
Mathare also had a strong penalty shout turned down when it appeared defender Jacobs Faina had used his arm to intercept James Kinyanjui’s cross into the box. Instead, the referee awarded a corner after consultation with his assistant.
Faina had again been likely culprit for using his arm to sweep out an attempted pass by Kevin Kimani, blocking his progress into the penalty area and the call was made in his favour despite a short-lived protest from the midfielder.
Kinyanjui enjoyed a superb game, creating numerous chances for his teammates and causing Sofapaka constant problems with his close dribbling and good crossing ability.
Sofapaka should have opened the scoring after a failed clearance from Promise Chisonso’s cross fell into the feet of Aswani who had an initial attempt on goal intercepted by David Owino and the follow up blocked by Lennox Ogutu.
Brian Kayanja sent a diving header off target and the same player failed to find the target yet again when he misdirected Elly Asieche’s cross moments later as the hosts sought the opener.
Kimani broke clear after Lual had knocked the ball behind the Sofapaka midfield and his teammate attempted to round Faina only for the defender to stop his ball into space with what looked like some help from his hand.
The referee quickly turned down Mathare’s calls for handball and the players rushed back to prevent being counter-attacked before resuming their appeal but the official stuck to his initial decision.
A neat layoff from Kayanja down the right side was sent high over the bar by Asieche from beyond just the penalty box band Mathare responded through Kinyanjui who beat two men and managed to get a shot off but it lacked enough power and goalkeeper Richard Aimo gathered easily.
Kinyanjui was found in a tight space inside the penalty area and his flick was pumped out for a corner by Willis Obayi. Kimani worked out a quick corner routine and crossed into the area where Lual flicked it beyond Aimo for the opener.
Substitute Collins Wahungu should have pulled the vistors level but had little time to get the right direction on his headed attempt before he was clattered into by goalkeeper Job Ochieng.
But another fast break freed Asieche on the right channel and the midfielder showed great composure to evade the on-rushing Ochieng unselfishly square it to Ameyaw who simply knocked it into an empty net.
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