Elvis Rupia scored the first BPL hattrick of the season as AFC Leopards mauled Sofapaka 3-0 in a Betking Premier League match played at the Moi International Sports Center Kasarani on Saturday afternoon.
Leopards went ahead in the 48th minute after Elvis Rupia’s shot was deflected home by Sofapaka defender Willis Obayi. Six minutes later he doubled the lead with a fantastic finish from the edge of the penalty area. He got his third in the 66th minute heading home from a Peter Thiong’o cross.
Sofapaka started the match strongly and in the 5th minute, Nigerian Michael Karamor saw his header fly over the bar. Five minutes later Lawrence Juma saw his free-kick easily picked by Benjamin Ochan on Leopards’ goal.
Leopards slowly grew into the game, and in they had their first chance in goal in the 14th minute when Elvis Rupia connected to an Isaac Kipyegon corner kick, his attempt was cleared from the goal-line.
Sofapaka did well to clear dangerous balls in quick succession as Anthony Kimani’s charges started piling pressure on the visitors. Debutant Peter Thiong’s ferocious shot partly hit the upright before Kevin Omondi in goal picked the ball.
The match slowly degenerated to an end-to-end affair as the clock ticked but none of the sides could find the breakthrough in the first stanza.
The second half started in spectacular fashion, Nana Jedinak forced a save from Benjamin Ochon in the 47th minute later, a minute later Leopards went ahead through Elvis Rupia’s deflected shot. Six minutes later, they got a second through Rupia who fired home with a good finish at the edge of the penalty area.
Machapo as he is affectionately referred to completed his hat-trick in the 66th minute heading home from a Peter Thiong’o cross. He had a chance to add a fourth moment later bit he shot over the bar.
The win moves Leopards to the top in the BPL table, Sofapaka on the other hand drop to ninth.
Starting XI: Benjamin Ochan (GK), Yusuf Mainge, Kipyegon Isaac, Collins Shichenje, Robinson Kamura, Said Tsuma, Jaffari Owiti (85′ Boniface Mukhekhe), Peter Thiong’o (85′ Caleb Olilo), Fabrice Mugheni (88′ Hansel Ochieng), Rupia Elvis (88′ Marvin Nabwire) Shaka Bienvenue (78′ Austin Odhiambo)
Unused subs: John Oyemba (GK), Washington Munene
Starting XI: Kevin Omondi, Sammy Imbuye, Michael Kibwage, Willis Obayi, Sunday Ikekhai, Titus Achesa, Roy Okal (77′ David Simiyu), Elly Asieche( 68’Brian Nyakan 17), Lawrence Juma, Jedinak Nana (47′ Kepha Aswani,), Michael Karamor
Unused subs: Richard Aimo (GK), Ambrose Sifuna, Faina Jacobs, Kilume Mohammed, Nixon Omondi, Sunday Sebastine, Juma Bryson
Match commissioner- Margaret Omondi
Center referee- Anthony Ogwayo
1st Assistant referee-Mary Njoroge
2nd Assistant referee- Gilbert Cheruiyot
Reserve referee- Lucas Odhiambo