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Ingwe’s roar still loudest in KPL

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NAIROBI, Kenya, March 26- AFC Leopards are still unbeaten and perched comfortably at the helm of the Kenya Premier League (KPL) standings as a new goal scoring record was set during last weekend’s action.

With Ingwe edging out Western Stima 2-1 in the ‘Western derby’ to sustain their status as league leaders on Saturday, the headlines were stolen by Thika United forward Kepha Aswani who shot to the top of the scoring chart with a four-goal blitz on Sunday.

Aswani’s goal rush in their 6-0 mauling of Rangers set a historical benchmark for his club and the league since it adopted its current format in 2007 as he moved past KCB’s Jacob Keli (five) in the race for the golden boot.

Sofapaka, who are in action on Monday, held the previous KPL scoring record with their identical 5-0 thrashings of Western Stima and relegated Congo United last season.

For Rangers the woes continued as they slid to 13th in the table standings as their tormentors moved up to fifth. The club were in the news last week when their matches were put on hold by the Milimani Commercial Court following a Sh2m kit dispute before the KPL secretariat intervened to have their games continue.

At the top, Jonas Nahimana double saw the leaders prevail in a tight contest played at their second home, the Mumias Sports Complex as Leopards moved provisionally three points clear of Sofapaka on 17.

Unlike last season when the same fixture saw some fans riot, the charged game passed-off without incident as Isikuti drums rent the air when Nahimana scored the winning penalty for a foul against Allan Wanga.

The biggest movers of the week were cane cutters Chemelil Sugar who supplanted fading champions Tusker from third place courtesy of a narrow 1-0 triumph over promoted Oserian in Naivasha.

Edward Manoah’s charges improved to 14 to continue their ghost march to the top as veteran striker, Mike Muiruri, who once captained Oserian, netting the all important strike two minutes from the break.

Tusker on the other hand staggered to a 0-0 draw against KCB as Sammy Omollo’s champions once again failed to hit the notes.

In a weekend of highlights, Mathare United also landed their first win of the season against Nairobi City Stars who swapped places with the Slum Boys to the basement of the table.

“I hope this is the beginning of our season. We have been playing good football but not having the luck and we shall continue preparing for our games like we have been doing,” coach Gabriel Njoroge said after the match.
Mathare found the winning touch with the additional services of national Under-23 coach James Nandwa who was engaged by the club on a temporally basis with changes to the technical bench set to be announced.

Newly promoted Muhoroni Youth continued with their fairytale after they beat seasoned Karuturi Sports 2-1 at home to take seventh spot on 10 points, one place above Karuturi.

The win will be a great inspiration for the new kids on the block who are have already humbled Gor Mahia and lost narrowly to Leopards on their top flight debut.

Despite Sony playing with 10 men in the second half, visiting Gor Mahia could not score past their hosts led by their former tactician Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno resulting in a barren draw.

RESULTS

Rangers 0 – 6 Thika United
Sony Sugar 0 – 0 Gor Mahia
Mathare United 1 – 0 City Stars
AFC Leopards 2 – 1 Western Stima
Muhoroni Youth 2 – 1 Karuturi Sports
Tusker 0 – 0 KCB

STANDINGS

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 AFC Leopards 7 5 2 0 10 2 8 17
2 Sofapaka 6 4 2 0 7 3 4 14
3 Chemelil 7 4 2 1 5 2 3 14
4 Tusker 7 3 3 1 7 4 3 12
5 Thika United 7 2 4 1 10 5 5 10
6 KCB 6 3 1 2 8 5 3 10
7 Muhoroni 7 3 1 3 6 6 0 10
8 Karuturi 7 2 3 2 7 6 1 9
9 Ulinzi Stars 6 2 2 2 9 9 0 8
10 Western Stima 7 2 2 3 7 7 0 8
11 Sony Sugar 7 2 2 3 6 7 -1 8
12 Gor Mahia 7 1 3 3 3 5 -2 6
13 Rangers 6 1 3 2 6 12 -6 6
14 Oserian 7 1 2 4 5 10 -5 5
15 Mathare 7 1 1 5 5 11 -6 4
16 City Stars 7 0 3 4 3 10 -7 3

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