Sofapaka coach John Baraza feels his players let down Ugandan forward Umaru Kasumba after watching Mathare United cancel his brace to settle for a two-all draw at Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos.
Baraza expressed displeasure with his players for throwing away their lead twice to eventually settle for a draw which narrowed their chances of catching up with SportPesa Premier League leaders Gor Mahia.
Sofapaka were pursuing to narrow down the gap between them and Gor to four points but were held by the 2008 league champions, leaving them six points off the defending champions.
However, it is the failure by the team to hold on Kasumba’s brace and bag the three points which angered the youthful coach as he termed him as a reliable goal poacher who did his part but his teammates let him down.
“Kasumba’s role is to score goals which he did today before suffering a muscle cramp. As a team, I feel we let him down as he did his part but we failed to hold on his goals and get the win. He is a gifted player who is always reliable upfront and we really have to appreciate his efforts by defending his goals till we get the points. We gifted Mathare cheap goals and we really deserved to win this match.”
Despite the unwanted result and drifting six points behind Gor’s back, Baraza maintained that they are in the title race and should not be written off yet.
“It’s complicated for us but I believe we are still in the race. We should not be written off yet for anything can happen in football. It’s not over for us as we have matches remaining which I hope we will win and hope that Gor will land on a Banana skin.”
Meanwhile, Kasumba is hopeful that he will claim the Golden boot after his brace took his tally for the season to 15, and level with his closest challenger Allan Wanga. Kasumba is confident that he will hit and surpass his target of 20 goals and lay hands on the gong in his third season in the Kenyan football.
“I am confident that the Golden Boot is mine to lose this season. I had a target of 20 goals when the season began and I am five away from achieving it. I am sure I will achieve and surpass it and at the end of the season I will take home the scorers accolade.”
The match, attended by Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne, saw Kasumba break the deadline barely two minutes after the restart but Mathare levelled six minutes later through Cliff Nyakeya.
Kasumba completed his brace in the 58th minute before limping off minutes later with a heavily bandaged thigh. Mathare had Nyakeya to thank again as his 66th-minute goal earned them a point.