Voice of Sport

Domestic strife unrecognisable as AFC Leopards make stand against leaders Gor Mahia

Draw in ‘Nairobi Derby’ slows down K’Ogalo as KCB rediscover scoring touch to drab Mathare United in one of season’s biggest wins


KPL RESULTS:

Sunday, July 27:

Bandari 1 – 1 Tusker
Thika United 1 – 0 KRA
Western Stima 0 – 1 Sofapaka
Chemelil Sugar 2 – 0 Sony Sugar
AFC Leopards 2 – 2 Gor Mahia
 Saturday, July 26:  Nakuru All Stars  1 – 1 Muhoroni Youth
KCB 4 – 0 Mathare United
Ulinzi Stars 1 – 1 Nairobi City Stars

THE AFC Leopards v Gor Mahia “Derby” will never cease to be spectacular. A Leopards house that may have seemed to be in shambles prior to Sunday stood resolute against the champions and league leaders and there was a great match which many disappointed Leopards supporters who did not show up will rue the miscalculation for days.

Faced with their biggest traditional adversaries, each of the teams digs deep for reserves. Leopards, teetering towards the relegation zone before the match looked anything but not a demoralized bunch; and in the end they could have felt that a 2-2 draw was not quite they deserved.

Bragging rights

But Leopards went home with the season’s bragging rights over their arch enemies whom they gloriously whipped 3-1 on June 8 also at Nyayo Stadium.

Gor Mahia maintained their position at the top of the table and three points ahead of Tusker, thanks to the Brewers also failing to win in their 1-1 draw with Bandari at the Kenya Ports Authority [KPA] Sports Club in Mbaraki, Mombasa.

Sunday was big because of the “Derby” but surely the biggest news of the weekend was the poorest team in the league at the moment — Kenya Commercial Bank – registering almost the victory of the season so far.

Incredible score

The bankers somehow found in them something positive, turning round their wretchedness with incredible to obliterate Mathare United 4-0. They thus equaled the record winning margin in the Premiership, of Sofapaka’s 5-1 beating of Muhoroni on February 15.

In fact it is only Sofapaka who had previously scored four or more goals. The other was in their 4-2 defeat of Tusker on April 13.

AFC Leopards 2-2 Gor Mahia

If it was not for Gor Mahia’s Ugandan talisman Dan Sserunkuma Leopards would have ruled.

James Situma found a Noah Wafula who was full of running throughout the day and the front man put Leopards ahead in the sixth minute.

But Sserunkuma was first to equalise with the first of his day’s pair when he rose to head in an Eric Ochieng’ corner tying it 1-1 just before the break.

Off side

Two minutes after resumption Sserunkuma beat an awkward Leopards’ defence which attempted to play him off side. Sserunkuma’s strike partner Patrick Oboya was in fact miles into the off side zone although clearly retreating and not intending to interfere with play when the Ugandan beat a helpless Wilson Kasaya with a low shot from six yards.

But Leopards kept battling away and skipper Imbalambala equally scored from an awkward goalkeeping move by Gor’s Frederick Onyango who was made to look foolish by the ball which dipped to bounce in front of him as it torpedoed into the net.

Resumed play

The “Derby”, however again failed to escape trouble when louts attempted to battle each other on the stands during half time. It took a long delay before peace could be restored and play to resume.

The third-placed team, Sofapaka, chasing Gor Mahia [38 points from 19 matches] came within five points when they won 1-0 at Mumias Sugar Company Sports Complex against Western Stima of Kakamega.

Gor Mahia now play one once more – on August 5 v Ulinzi stars – before taking a break to participate in the Cecafa [Council of East and Central Africa Football Associations] Kagame Cup Club Championship in Rwanda between August 8 and 24.

Western Stima 0-1 Sofapaka

Collins Shivachi first came close for Sofapaka with a free kick in the first half at Mumias. Then the Burundi international Abdul Razak Fiston should have handed Sofapaka the lead at the stroke of half-time but his long range shot was parried over by the Stima ‘keeper Gabriel Adika.

Fiston, however, crowned his roving efforts with scoring his fourth goal of the season in the 73rd minute by dispossessing Stima midfielder Hudson Muhako and beating Adika with a far post finish.

Bandari 1-1 Tusker

At Mbaraki min Mombasa, Bandari took the lead after 17 minutes through Kefa Aswani. He converted an assist from Victor Majid after controlling with his chest before planting the ball past Tusker ‘keeper Samuel Odhiambo.

Andrew Tololwa leveled for the Brewers in the 88th minute.

Thika 1-0 KRA

Thika United were back at their refurbished Municipal Stadium to earn a 1-0 win over Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), the visitors from Nairobi.

Striker Michael Olunga struck the solitary goal in the 59th minute after receiving from Wycliffe Opondo to beat KRA ‘keeper Phillip Odhiambo.

It was ample revenge for Thika who were upset 2-1 in the first leg by the league debutants.

Chemelil 2-0 Sony Sugar

At Awasi, Hamisi Mwinyi gave the home team Chemelil Sugar the lead after 23 minutes,  heading home a Meshack Karani cross. After missing several clear chances, Stephen Wakhanya slotted home the second.

(Saturday)

KCB 4-0 Mathare United

At the City Stadium on Saturday, league’s bottom team Kenya Commercial Bank won their third match of the season and what a barrage of goals they made.

Paul Mungai Kiongera had a brace but it was Ugandan Ronald Musana who first netted his debut goal for KCB in the 12th minute for a 1-0 halftime lead.

On a roll

The Bankers were on a roll in the second half, and Kiongera first made it 2-0 in the 47th minute after connecting to a Benjamin Chaka assist.

They were 3-0 up with Kiongera’s second before Samuel Mwangi who beat John Waw for 4-0 in the closing minute.

Mathare United came close to equalizing on two occasions but David Ajwang’ and David Mwangi blasted their chances off target.

Ulinzi Stars 1-1 Nairobi City Stars

Ulinzi Stars came from a goal-down to hold Nairobi City Stars to a 1-1 draw at the Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium.

Veteran Dennis “Wise” Okoth gave the Kawangware side the opener after 25 minutes, connecting home a Nelson Marasowe pass.

Stephen Waruru levelled for Ulinzi Stars in the 38thminute.

Nakuru All Stars 1-1 Muhoroni Youth

At Afraha Stadium, Enosh Ochieng’ put visiting Muhoroni in the lead in the first half before Teddy Siwa equalised in the second for the teams to share points.

Ochieng’ latched on to 22nd minute free kick by Daniel Waweru. Muhoroni should have doubled the lead in the 45th minute if only if Ezekiel Otwoma had made use of an Ochieng’ cross.

Anthony “Balotieno” Nyang’or’s introduction in the 56th minute proved fruitful, when he fed Siwa to equalise in the 64th minute.

Tusker Premier League:

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Gor Mahia 19 11 5 3 26 15 11 38
2 Tusker 19 10 5 4 27 17 10 35
3 Sofapaka 19 9 6 4 33 16 17 33
4 Chemelil Sugar 19 8 8 3 16 9 7 32
5 KRA 19 9 3 7 15 17 -2 30
6 Ulinzi Stars 19 5 12 2 18 14 4 27
7 Sony Sugar 19 6 9 4 17 13 4 27
8 Thika United 19 6 8 5 19 18 1 26
9 AFC Leopards 19 5 8 6 14 14 0 23
10 Mathare United 19 6 5 8 10 18 -8 23
11 Bandari 19 5 7 7 17 19 -2 22
12 Muhoroni Youth 19 5 7 7 12 19 -7 22
13 Western Stima 19 5 6 8 18 22 -4 21
14 Nairobi City Stars 19 3 9 7 12 19 -7 18
15 Nakuru All Stars 19 2 7 10 10 22 -12 13
16 KCB 19 3 3 13 18 30 -12 12