Kariobangi Sharks evade traps to lift Sportpesa Cup [ Picture Courtesy Sportpesa]
Kariobangi Sharks evade traps to lift Sportpesa Cup
Sharks pocket Sh3m, get a chance to host EPL side Everton later this year.
Kariobangi Sharks were on Sunday crowned 2019 SportsPesa Cup champions after edging out compatriots Bandari 1-0 at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Former Prime Minister Raila Odinga was the chief guest in the final match that Harisson Mwendwa scored the winning goal in the 60th minute.
Both teams composed themselves without much tension with ‘imported’ Mombasa based drum beating Simbaropa troupe band and Bandari fans reverberated as the two teams emerged from the dressing room to the pitch.
The dockers found their feet with a second minute threat after Hassan Abdallah beat an offside trap only to shoot wide.
Sharks Captain Patila Omotto was cautioned verbally by the Burundian referee Erick Manirakiza in the ninth minute for a double-leg foul against his fellow Captain Felly Mulumba.
Three minutes later, Bernard Odhiambo’s high flying header off Abdallah’s corner kick went out begging.
Harrison Mwendwa wasted a clear opportunity for Sharks in the 15th minute after he was fed by Abuya Duke.
Dickson Omondi of Sharks entered into the caution books of the referee in the 20th minute after he was given a yellow card for a dangerous play on David King’atua.
Bandari fans were off their seats in the 26th minute when Congolese Yema Mwama was left with goalkeeper John Oyemba yo beat but he was slow in hitting the ball before it was intercepted by Teka Thomas.
George Abege could have come back to haunt his forher Bandari club after he missed a setter for Sharks as both teams headed to the changing room for coaches half time pep talks.
At half time, both teams were aware that a kiss symbolises love while a bite symbolises desire and they should go for the latter to win the match.
Both teams came back more rejuvenated in the second stanza and it was time for Sharks to take lead in the 47th minute but once again Abege shot match flanked by Everton legend Steven Pienaar.
Bandari’s Coach Bernard Mwalala benched injured King’atua , Abdallah Hamisi and Yema Mwama for Darius Msaga, Brian Otieno and Keegan Ndemi as the game progressed.
Sharks deservedly took the lead in the 60th minute when Mwendwa who wAs adjudged the man of the match sprinted with the ball to sweetly place it past diving goalkeeper Farouk Shikhalo.
Coach William Muluya brought in Eric Juma for injured goalscorer Mwendwa and rested Abege for Sydney Lokale as the clock ticked to the final whistle.
Mwendwa’s goal proved the turning point of the match as Bandari mounted pressure to cancel the lead but this did not happen with Sharks protecting the lead to the end.