Kenya: Kariobangi Sharks Shock Everton At Kasarani

Kariobangi Sharks players celebrate their goal against visiting English Premier League side Everton during a SporPesa-organised international friendly match at the Moi International Sports Center, Kasarani in Nairobi.

Kariobangi Sharks upset English Premier League side Everton 4-3 on post-match penalties to win the SportPesa Cup at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani Sunday.

The sides were tied 1-1 after 90 minutes.

Sven Yidah, Brian Bwire, George Abege and Geoffrey Lemu all converted their spot kicks for the hosts at a packed stadium.

"It's an eye opener not just for me but for the players. They now know that they can achieve the impossible. And it is a very good motivation as we head into the new season," said coach William Muluya, who looked sophisticated in a blue pin strip suit.

It was an action-packed afternoon that saw Sharks give everything they had, and a little extra spice for their excited fans, who cheered the team on from the opening whistle, to the end.

Duke Abuya scored the first goal for Sharks in the 28th minute, causing the 50,000-strong stadium to erupt into wild cheers of joy and pride.

The Harambee Stars trialist had achieved the unimaginable by scooping the ball from the feet of Everton's left back Leighton Baines and tapping it into the empty net.

It was not Sharks' first attempt at goal, and it wasn't the last. The local top flight club played with admirable courage and fearlessness, such that it was clear from the onset that it would be a high scoring match.

From that moment on, there was neither sitting down nor keeping still. The home fans had witnessed the unbelievable, and it showed in the animated manner in which they chose to celebrate their boys on duty.

Shouts of "Ole Ole Ole Ole!" rent the air for the duration of the first half, as the spectators came to terms with the mean achievement of having scored past an English Premier League side.

Abuya himself could barely contain himself. He ran the full length of the pitch to the photographers' stand, and gestured animatedly at the fans who responded with raucous, deafening applause.

Later, he turned the match into the talent audition it was and in the 33rd minute, caused fans to celebrate for nothing as he got hold of a cross from new signing Patrick Otieno, only for his shot to go narrowly wide.

Theo Walcott, the lead striker for Everton, was an isolated lad but erupted in the 39th minute when he delivered a cross from the right, but Nathan Broadhead was in too much of a haste and ended up sending the ball over the bar.

Fraser Hornby did the opposite in the 60th minute when he hesitated in front of goal when he should just have released a shot home. He was dispossessed by the mean Sharks defence.

Joe Williams' goal in the 62nd minute was expected. An infringement at the edge of the box had resulted in a free kick which Williams sent home after looking once at goalkeeper Brian Bwire and picking his mark.

To book the date with Everton, Kariobangi Sharks won the 2019 edition of the SportPesa Cup which took place in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, in January. Their 1-0 win over Bandari gave them regional supremacy and the opportunity to play the Blues.

The game marks Everton's second visit to East Africa. The team travelled to Tanzania in July 2017 to face inaugural SportPesa Super Cup winners Gor Mahia in a game the Toffees won 2-1, the first time a Premier League club had visited East Africa.

In November 2018, Gor Mahia travelled to Goodison Park, the first occasion an East African club side has played a Premier League club in the UK.

Sharks and Everton were both wearing their new season's kits for the first time. Both sets of kits have been manufactured by renowned apparel makers Umbro.

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