NAKURU, Kenya- Singida United FC beat Kakamega Homeboyz 4-1 on post-match penalties to clinch the 2018 SportPesa Super Cup bronze medal at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Sunday.
The teams shared a 1-1 stalemate at the end of regulation before the Tanzanian outfit overpowered their Kenyan opponents in the shootout to bag USD7500 (KSh750,000) as Homeboyz who finished fourth on their tournament debut, took home USD5000 (KSh500,000).
Homeboyz were missing the bite of seasoned striker, Allan Wanga, upfront with the Kenyan international who took a minor knock on their opening day stunning 3-1 defeat of Tanzanian giants, Yanga SC watching from the stands.
In his place Wycliffe Opondo who missed his spot-kick when Paul Nkata’s side lost 4-5 on post-match penalties to Dar titans Simba SC in the semis got the Kenyans off to a flier when he thumped the ball past Singida keeper, Peter Manyika after receiving a pass from Moses Mudavadi in the third minute.
The goal was the fastest in the second edition of the annual tournament and Homeboyz seemed set to clinch the third place crown when they held on until the 61st when Danny Lyanga equalised for Singida and with no further goals coming, the dreaded shootout was called upon to decide the winner of the third-place play-off.
With the shootout looming, Nkata withdrew his starting keeper, Michael Wanyika and brought on McArthur Arakaza in a bid to have the edge but the substitute custodian could do nothing to stem the Singida sharpshooters.
Deus Kaseke of Singida drew first blood with a well taken effort that went in off the bar to give the visitors the lead. George Mandela then missed for Homeboyz before Adam Mraji sent Arakaza the wrong way to give Singida a 2-0 lead.
Collins Kisuya then saw Manyika save his spot-kick and substitute Shafik Batambuze calmly slotted his to make the score 3-0 to the Tanzanians.
Noah Wafula who came on in the second half then scored Homeboyz’s first to give them a glimmer of hope that was shot down by a brilliant Lyanga penalty.
Before the intervention from 12 yards, both teams were evenly matched during the contest that started at high intensity and it was Homeboyz who had the huge crowd up on their feet inside the opening four minutes when he rifled the Kenyans in front.
In the 16th, Homeboyz captain Estone Esiye found Mudavadi on the left flank who cut inside and unleashed a left-footed shot at goal which was easily gathered by Manyika.
A minute later, Singida captain Nizar Khalfan was next to try his luck but his effort went wide.
Homeboyz broke forward and Opondo found Keiphas Mutuu in the area but the latter failed to connect with his low cross as the ball fizzled harmlessly out.
Singida’s first shot on target came in the 21st, Salim Chuku attempting to score from outside the area but Wanyika in the Homeboyz goal saw it all the way through.
An Esiye shot from the edge of the penalty box was fumbled by Manyika a minute later and Mudavadi failed to capitalise on the rebound but the ref awarded the Tanzanians a free-kick after the latter was adjudged to have strayed offside.
Mudavadi was at it again in the 28th, skipping past two defenders this time on the left flank before his right-footed shot on goal was easily saved by Manyika as Homeboyz continued to turn up the heat in front of a packed Afraha crowd.
Esiye sent in a ferocious free kick in the 34th that looked to be on its way in but Manyika punched it away to keep his side from going two goals down before the break.
Homeboyz continued to dominate in the final minutes of the half and the fourth official indicated only one minute would be added on and eventually, Nkata‘s side went into the break with a deserved 1-0 lead.
The second half began with the same pace as the first ended with Homeboyz applying pressure on the Singida defence, looking for a second goal to give them a comfortable cushion.
John Tibar of Singida was the first player to be substituted in the 51st minute and was replaced by Elinywesia Sumbi.
Malik Antiri was the first player in the referees book after he was shown a yellow card in the 57th for a poor challenge on Mudavadi.
After 241 minutes of football in the tournament, Singida finally scored from open play with Lyanga getting the equaliser with a deft diving header after some good work down the right flank by Adam Miraji.
Singida coach Suleiman Hemed made his second substitution right after with a straight swoop where Khalfan came off for Brazilian Felipe Santos who made his debut in the tournament.
Esiye then handed Wanyika the captain’s armband in the 66th as he was taken off and replaced by ex-Tusker FC midfielder Wafula.
The new man got right into the thick of things, with a pacy run down the right but his cross into the danger area was overhit, resulting in a Singida goal kick.
In the 77th, Wafula sent yet another teasing ball into the box but Antiri dove to head it out for a Homeboyz corner.
With six minutes of regular time left, both sides seemed to have lost their urgency to find the winning goal as the games pace hit a disappointing low.
Nkata made an unusual substitution in the 87th, taking off goalkeeper Wanyika for Arakaza, in a sign he had accepted the game would be decided on penalties.
Hassan Kikoyo then followed suit, coming on in place of Mudavadi, who had a great game in the Homeboyz midfield.
Singida then made their final substitution, ex Tusker defender Shafiq Batambuze coming on to replace Salim Chuku.
After two minutes of time added on failed to produce a winner, what they had dreaded came to pass with Singida winning their second shootout of the tournament after beating Kenyan giants, AFC Leopards SC on Tuesday in the quarters.
Kakamega Homeboyz FC
13 Michael Wanyika, 7 Hedmond Mauda, 12 Collins Kisuya, 34 Benjamin Oketch, 5 Wycliffe Opondo, 15 Moses Chikati, 40 Andrew Waiswa, 10 Moses Mudavadi, 2 Estone Esiye (C), 17 Keiphas Mutuu, 21 George Mandela
1 McArthur Arakaza, 32 David Juma, 26 Smith Ouko, 24 Ali Bhai Ahmed, 20 George Odiwuor, 11 Allan Wanga, 99 Hassan Kikoyo, 42 Wilson Anekeya, 27 Noah Wafula
Head coach: Paul Nkata (Uganda)
Singida United FC
18 Peter Jr Manyika, 4 Adam Miraji, 12 Salum Chuku, 3 Maliki Antiri, 15 Kennedy Juma, 27 Diaby Amara, 7 Deus Kaseke, 10 Danny Lyanga, 8 Ally Kenny, 16 Nizar Khalfan (C), 22 John Tibar
30 Ally Mustapha, 2 Elisha Muroiwa, 6 Shafik Batambuze, 5 Salum Kipaga, 14 Elinywesia Sumbi, 11 Lubinda Mundia, 17 Yusuf Kagoma, 9 Felipe Santos
Head coach: Ally Suleiman Hemed (Tanzania)