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Ingwe cling on to KPL lead

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NAIROBI, Kenya, April 30- Despite being held at Karuturi Sport, Kenyan Premier League (KPL) front runners AFC Leopards opened a provisional five-point lead at the top ahead of Monday’s crunch encounter between champions Tusker FC and Sofapaka.

With Leopards missing the services of strikers Mike Baraza and Allan Wanga, former Gor Mahia defender and their most expensive signing in the transfer period, Eric Masika, nodded in the all important equaliser to ensure Ingwe would not suffer a second consecutive loss in their 1-1 away stalemate in Naivasha.

Karuturi tactician Michael Nam was however, the highlight of the dour tie after his dramatic protests held up play after he felt his side had been robbed off a penalty in an incident that lead to his ejection.

Tusker host Sofapaka at Nyayo, with a point separating the two sides in second (22) and fifth with the latter who have seen their title charge derailed by loses to Gor Mahia and Thika United seeking to be the closest challengers to Ingwe with victory.

Chemelil are still third on the log on 21 despite suffering their first home defeat this season after sinking 1-0 to Western Stima who climbed to sixth on 18. Chemelil had numerous chances to score but were left to rue their wasted opportunities.

Kepha Aswani seemed celebrated his return to the national team by scoring his eighth of the season in Thika United’s 1-0 home win over Muhoroni Youth, a win that saw the side sustain their impressive run by moving up to fourth on 20 while the new boys are now tenth on 15.

Ulinzi Stars continued their resurgence with a second successive win following their 2-1 triumph over 12th placed Sony Sugar in Afraha that leaves them seventh on similar points with Stima.

Karuturi are eighth on 17, two points above KCB who registered the biggest win of the weekend with Paul Mungai scoring a hat-trick as they thrashed Oserian 3-0.

After sharing the spoils in their barren draw in their mid-week fixture against Rangers, the Bankers ended a seven match winless streak in style, moving to ninth while the flower men dropped to 15th.

The result was debilitating for the Naivasha based team who next face an on-form Thika leaving coach Sammy Otinga with an uphill task as he will need to improve his squad’s tactics to match their game.

Gor notched their third win of the season with a 2-1 victory over struggling City Stars in a tie that saw Coach Zdravko Logarusic get a reassuring endorsement from the fans who erected a huge banner inside the stadium reading ‘In Logarusic We Trust’ in a rare show of support for the Croat who had lost to Ulinzi in their last outing.

The win leaves K’Ogalo 11th on the log on 13, further condemning City to their assumed basement position on 8 points.

The one all draw in the match pitting Mathare against Rangers left the slum boys 13th a position above Rangers who now have 10 points. The two tacticians will now have to go back to the drawing board as their next encounters are against former champions Tusker and Sofapaka.

Results

Saturday:
Gor Mahia 2-1 Nairobi City Stars
Thika United 1-0 Muhoroni Youth
Ulinzi Stars 2-1 Sony Sugar

Sunday:
KCB 3-0 Oserian
Mathare United 1-1 Rangers
Karuturi Sports 1-1 AFC Leopards
Chemelil 0-1 Western Stima

Monday Fixture:

Tusker v Sofapaka

Pos Team P W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 AFC Leopards 12 8 3 1 21 9 12 27
2 Tusker 11 6 4 1 14 6 8 22
3 Chemelil Sugar 12 6 3 3 8 5 3 21
4 Thika United 12 5 5 2 15 8 7 20
5 Sofapaka 11 6 2 3 12 8 4 20
6 Western Stima 12 5 3 4 13 9 4 18
7 Ulinzi Stars 12 5 3 4 16 16 0 18
8 Karuturi Sports 12 4 5 3 11 9 2 17
9 KCB 12 4 3 5 14 11 3 15
10 Muhoroni Youth 12 4 3 5 8 9 -1 15
11 Gor Mahia 12 3 4 5 7 9 -2 13
12 SonySugar 12 3 2 7 11 14 -3 11
13 Mathare United 12 2 5 5 11 16 -5 11
14 Rangers 12 1 7 4 10 22 -12 10
15 Oserian 12 2 3 7 6 17 -11 9
16 City Stars 12 1 5 6 5 14 -9 8

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