NAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Skipper Patillah Omotto scored the solitary goal, handing Kariobangi Sharks a vital three points at home with a 1-0 victory over Kakamega Homeboyz as football finally returned after 52 days of inactivity following the suspension of sports to avert growing numbers of positive coronavirus cases in the country.
Bidco United versus Gor Mahia was the last BetKing Premier League action on March 22, before President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive saw all sporting activities in the country halted.
And when it returned, it was with excitement and enthusiasm with the league getting into its halfway point, Sharks and Homeboyz welcoming football back.
The three points were vital to Sharks as they hoisted them to second in the standings with 31 points, five points off leaders Tusker FC who play KCB in a crucial clash at Ruaraka on Saturday.
It was a game of two halves, Sharks dominating the opening 45 while the visitors were brighter in the second half.
In an opening half that they utterly dominated, Sharks went to the break deservedly in the lead.
Skipper Omotto struck them ahead after 16th minute, taking advantage of some poor ball control from Ali Bai. The Homeboyz captain picked up the ball from keeper Geoffrey Oputi, but his poor first touch let him down with Omotto pouncing and side footing the ball into the bottom left.
But Homeboyz should have done better with a very early chance they got just after kick off. David Okoth picked the ball on the left, drove into the box, but with a good vision at goal, fired his shot wildly.
After conceding, Homeboyz had another chance off a set-piece but Okoth’s curling effort from the right was tipped over the corner by Bwire.
In the 22nd minute, Bai should have redeemed himself when he picked the ball on the right after a poor defensive header by Boniface onyango, but he could only fire his shot into the side netting.
Sharks dominated the game with their short-passing and hardly looked a team off rhythm. They controlled the tempo cleanly and had homeboyz running after the ball in most instances.
On the half hour mark, another mistake almost saw the home side double their tally. Homeboyz were caught flat out at the back with James Mazembe teeing Eric Juma, but the midfielder’s curling effort from the edge of the box greased the crossbar and went over.
Four minutes to the break, league top scorer Eric Kapaito had a chance with a snapshot from 25 yards out, but Oputi managed to smoother the ball behind for a corner.
At the stroke of halftime, Sharks should have gone to the break two to the good when he dinked the ball over Oputi, but his chance was cleared off the line by George Odiwuor.
In the second period, the visitors lifted their game, playing with more intention and purpose.
Ten minutes after the restart, Bwire made a brilliant save to keep his side in the lead, bouncing off the ground beautifully to turn behind Okoth’s well taken volley for a corner.
Homeboyz kept dumping balls into the Sharks box, but they could not find the right ingredient to break the duck.