Duke Abuya scored twice as Kariobangi Sharks thumped Arta Solar7 of Djibouti 6-1 in their Caf Confederation Cup preliminary round first leg match at the Kasarani Stadium on Tuesday.
This result means the Djibouti side must win the return leg set for Djibouti City by five clear goals to advance to the next phase of this competition.
On face value, it will be easier for Manchester United to win this season’s English Premier League title.
Against arguably a technically and physically suspect opponent, Kenya’s FKF SportPesa Shield champions found themselves 3-0 up in the opening quarter of an hour even without necessarily engaging third gear.
In fact, Sharks, coached by the tutelage of youthful coach William Mluhya didn’t even miss lead striker and 2018 Kenyan Premier League player of the year Eric Kapaito, who sat out injured, as Duke Abuya, Sydney Lokale and Nixon Omondi got onto the scoresheet with the first three goals of the game.
And after a continuous spell of domination via possession and chances, the hosts went on to add a fourth in the 38th minute, via Kenya international Patillah Omotto’s free header off a Lokale corner kick.
But then, Tom Teka recklessly brought down Konenan Kanen in the danger area three minutes later and earned the visitors a penalty.
The number nine thereafter woke up, dusted himself, and easily beat Gad Matthews with his team’s first attempt on target.
With a 4-1 half-time lead the handful of Solar7 fans in the stadium might have been forgiven for fearing the worst, with memories of Harambee Starlets 7-0 win over their Djibouti counterparts in 2006, or worse, Harambee Stars 9-1 drubbing over their male colleagues from Djibouti in 1998 coming to mind.
The second half was however a far less intense affair with Sharks seemingly keen to safe guard the status quo other than use more energy to search for more goals.
But this didn’t stop lead striker George Abege, formerly at Sony Sugar, easily tapping home a Abuya cross ten minutes after the break.
Fidel Origa then made it six in the dying moments of the match in what could be the easiest contest the youthful Kenyan team participate in this season.
Sharks are certain to face sterner tests against Gor Mahia in the Kenyan Premier League Super Cup this weekend, plus versus top Ghana side Asante Kotoko potentially in the first round.