Sofapaka rallied from a goal down to hold Posta Rangers in a tension-filled SportPesa Premier League round 22 match at Narok Stadium on Saturday.
Both set of coaches, Sofapaka’s Sam Ssimbwa and Posta Rangers’ Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo, were involved in a late scuffle after Batoto ba Mungu equalised in the dying minutes of the closely fought match.
Ssimbwa sprinted to the Posta Rangers bench after Ezekiel Okare’s equaliser and celebrated wildly in front of Omollo. The two had to be separated by fourth official Andrew Juma. Ssimbwa would retreat to his bench only for him to return again at full time which prompted another charged brawl.
On the pitch, Kennedy Otieno struck the opener in the 56th minute after tapping home a Reuben Juma rebound. Titus Achesa delivered a dangerous cross inside the box that Juma parried in front of Otieno, who made no mistake from six yards for his fifth goal since he joined Posta.
Ezekiel Okare drew Sofapaka level in the 89th minute in what was a heart break for Posta, who had resorted to defending to hold onto the lead.
The draw left Sofapaka second with 38 points as Posta remained third on 35 points.
“A draw is not bad considering we were losing the game. We had our chances in the first half but failed to hit the target. The marathon continues. No match is a walk in the park we’ve got a long way to go,” Sofapaka assistant coach John Baraza said in a post-match interview.
“We would have wished to get all the points after taking the lead. Two dropped points but we keep on fighting,” saidOtieno.
Sofapaka were looking for a fast start to take the early lead. Okare broke into the Posta box in the ninth minute but Luke Ochieng’ was on hand to make a clearance.
Two consecutive corners in the first 13 minutes would not worry Patrick Matasi in Posta goal.
Wesley Onguso released Umar Kasumba but the Ugandan’s shot was stopped by Matasi.
At the half hour mark, Posta wasted a golden opportunity to break the deadlock. Dennis Mukaisi left Jonathan Mugabi inside the box, teed up unmarked Joseph Mbugi whose effort was blocked by Willis Ouma.
Eight minutes later, Geoffrey Kataka failed to beat Mathias Kigonya. Mukaisi set up Kataka and with an eye on goal, chose to go for power instead of precision, but Kigonya was at hand.
But the Ugandan goalkeeper was forced out with an injury after the save and replaced by rookie Reuben Juma after about five minutes of treatment on the pitch.
With a minute to the break, Sam Ssimbwa, the Sofapaka tactician, pulled out an off-colour Onguso for Mohammed Kilume as Posta intensified their raids.
Otieno thought he had doubled their advantage in the 69th minute only for his goal to be ruled out for an offside.
Ssimbwa brought on Bernard Mang’oli for Meshack Karani in the 76th minute to stabilise their midfield. Batoto ba Mungu pushed their lines high with their efforts paying off in the dying minutes through Okare.