Advantage Bandari: Rains Halt SportPesa Shield Final At Half Time

Jun 01 - by Louis Kalinga for SportPesa News

Challengers leading holders Kariobangi Sharks 2-1 at half time after officials move the second half to Sunday when the pitch was deemed unplayable

The scene at the MISC Kasarani Stadium when play was stopped in the final of the 2018/19 SportPesa Shield on Saturday, June 1, 2019. PHOTO/Courtesy/Kariobangi Sharks FC

  • The Dockers were on course to revenge their 1-0 defeat to the domestic cup holders during the final of the 2019 SportPesa Cup when a Yemi Mwana first half double gave them a 2-0 lead before Sharks halved the deficit through midfielder Patillah Omotto
  • Omotto then produced a stinger of his own to haul back Sharks to the contest from the edge of the area for 1-2 before the skies opened just after the 40th.

NAIROBI, Kenya- The winner of the 2019 SportPesa Shield will be known on Sunday after the final was called off following heavy downpour on Saturday afternoon with challengers Bandari FC leading holders Kariobangi Sharks FC 2-1 at the MISC Kasarani.

The Football Kenya Federation (FKF) later confirmed the match, where a ticket to represent Kenya at the 2019/20 CAF Confederations Cup and KSh2m in prize money is at stake, will resume with the Dockers on course to avenge their 2019 SportPesa Cup final defeat to Sharks.

"The SportPesa Shield finals that was called off today will be played tomorrow (Sunday) at 11am (+3GMT). The match will kick off in the 46th minute with Bandari leading Sharks 2-1. The venue of the match remains Kasarani," the brief from the federation stated.

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A Yemi Mwana first half double gave them a 2-0 lead before Sharks halved the deficit through midfielder Patillah Omotto before the skies opened with vengeance towards the end of the exciting opening period to render the pitch unplayable after it was waterlogged.

After deliberations, the Match Commissioner elected to halt proceedings making it the first time in the history of the domestic cup competition that was first staged in 1956 that a winner will be decided over two days.

With the pain of losing their January 27, 2019 SportPesa Cup decider where Sharks prevailed 1-0 at the National Main Stadium in Dar-es-Salaam still fresh, Bandari tore into their fellow SportPesa Premier League (SPL) side from kick off and got the opener inside two minutes when Mwana made it 1-0 with a well taken half volley.

Punishing deluge

The goal seemed to rouse Sharks, who finished the 2018/19 SPL campaign in eighth, six places behind Bandari into action, threatening to level James Mazembe but his effort was easily gathered by 2019 AFCON bound Harambee Stars keeper Farouk Shikhalo.

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The Bandari keeper was also equal to what the 2018 SPL Most Valuable Player Eric Kapaito and SportPesa Cup hero Harrison Mwendwa's threw at him in the 12th and 18th minutes, the latter coming closest to restore parity when he lashed to a through ball from Duke Abuya before forcing Shikhalo to produce a good save.

Mwana was Bandari's most dangerous attacker and after he saw a well crafted attempt to notch his double kept out by John Oyemba, he was not to be denied his brace beat the Sharks keeper who is also in the AFCON squad with a thunderous effort that illuminated the final in the 22nd.

Omotto then produced a stinger of his own to haul back Sharks to the contest from the edge of the area for 1-2 before the skies opened just after the 40th minute soaking the playing field as the intensity of play dropped with the punishing deluge taking its toll.

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The referee blew for half time much to the relief of the drenched players who sprinted to the changing rooms before the decision to call off proceedings was made when it became clear the surface would not be suitable to continue the game.

Earlier, SPL outfit KCB FC mauled third tier FKF Division One side, SS Assad 7-1 in the third-place play off to win bronze and collect KSh750,000 in prize money.