Nairobi City Stars thrashed Sofapaka 3-0 in this Betking Premier League (BPL) match at Ruaraka grounds on Monday.
A chance to get back to winning ways for both Nairobi City Stars and Sofapaka was beckoning before the match as the two sides had lost their previous matches.
With both side having coincidentally lost their previous match against defending champions Gor Mahia, it was the former who emerged worthy 3-0 winners after having a fantastical start in the opening forty five minutes that in the end proved to be enough for Sanjin Alagic’s side.
Barely three minutes in, City Stars found the back of the net. Peter ‘Pinchez’ Opiyo, who was making his return to the eleven after missing the previous clash, converting his penalty kick to give his side the perfect start after a Sofapaka defender was adjudged to have handled the ball in the area, Simba wa Nairobi one goal up.
Just past the quarter hour mark, in the 16th minute, City Stars were at it again. Rodgers Okumu picked the ball down the right edge of the box and flushed in a cross in front of goal. Onrushing Sofapaka goalkeeper Aigba Moubarak judged it poorly when he came to try and clear danger and his parried effort found a lurking David Agesa who only needed to direct the ball into⁰⁰ the empty goal, of which he did to extend his side’s lead.
Stunned into the unfolding events of the day, Sofapaka head coach rung the changes, bringing on Alex Imbusia for Nixon Omondi in the 22nd of the game as Sofapaka trailed.
Ken Odhiambo’s men automatically pushed foward in search of a goal. Batoto ba Mungu would be handed a lifeline in the 30th minute when the centre referee pointed to the spot for an alleged foul. When needed most, the club top scorer failed to convert as his shot sent the keeper the wrong way but could not find the back of the net, the ball hitting the upright and back into action where it was cleared.
Sofapaka would come to rue that chance as City Stars added a third through a Salim Abdallah header after an inch perfect Bolton Omwenga delivery in the box that evaded the yellow jerseyed Sofapaka players.
If everything had gone badly in the opening 44 minutes, it could not have gotten any worse at the stroke of half time as keeper Aigba was given a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Nicholas Kipkirui.
Trailing 3-0 at half time and a man down, Sofapaka had a mountain to climb in the second.
Seemingly invigorated by Odhiambo’s half time team talk, Batoto ba Mungu emerged in the second half a different side to the first. However, against the run of play, City Stars got a chance to go four goals up after pacy Rodgers Okumu beat Michael Kibwage to the ball after a brilliant turn of pace forced the Harambee Stars international to bring the winger down in the box.
Much like Juma, Anthony ‘Muki’ Kimani was unable to bury the game as his tame effort from the spot was saved by keeper Kevin Omondi who came on after Aigba’s sending off.
Sven Yidah picked up a late red card in the 84th minute after picking a second yellow card for a foul on Juma who they had tussled with all game long to perhaps dim City’s shining light in the game.