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Leopards claws All Stars, Tusker win at last

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AFC LEOPARDS MEXICAN WAVENAIROBI, Kenya, March 24 – Burundian midfielder, Emmanuel Ngama notched a brace as AFC Leopards beat Nakuru All Stars 3-1 to register their second successive Kenyan Premier League win in a floodlight encounter played at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday night.

Ngama who joined Leopards this season on loan from Uganda Revenue Authority, opened his account after six minutes of play before William Ochieng restored parity four minutes later.

Ngama however, reclaimed the lead 13 minutes later, before Jacob Keli scored his second goal of the season and the third for Leopards who climbed third on seven points behind Bandari who have scored more goals but have played a game more and two behind arch rivals and leaders Gor Mahia.

At Nairobi’s Ruaraka Grounds, it was a sigh of relief for Tusker FC head coach Francis Kimanzi, who chalked his first win of the season after gunning down Ulinzi Stars 2-1.

In Mombasa, Bandari rallied a goal down to beat visiting KCB 3-1in a match that David King’atua netted his debut goal for the Dockers before George Abege and Juma Masaud completed the rout.

Raymond Murugi scored the consolation for the Bankers who entered the match boosted by their 6-2 triumph over All Stars.

Western Stima were 2-1 winners over Nairobi City Stars, despite finishing 10-men after Baron Oketch was sent off at Moi’s Kisumu Stadium for retaliation against Arthur Museve.

Hedmond Mauda grabbed a brace while Duncan Makori scored the only goal for the Kawangware based side that remains rooted at the bottom winless.

-Second successive win-

Leopards head coach Zdravko Logarusic made three changes from the quad that beat City Stars 1-0 with Keli, Austin Ikenna and Ezekiel Seda returning to the starting line-up replacing Duncan Otieno, Diallo Lamine and Karim Ndugwa who were dropped to the bench.

Keli’s inclusion in the first XI paid for the Croatian with the 2013 Golden Boot winner setting Ngama for the opener but the lead did not last long as the visitors leveled through Ochieng’s spot kick after Jackson Saleh hacked Carlson Mweresa in the box.

Ngama made sure Ingwe took control of the game when he reclaimed the lead in the 19th with a cracker that beat All Stars keeper, Martin Lule before Keli who scored the winner against City Stars nailing the final nail in the coffin when he made good use of Ngama’s square pass on the 24th.

There was less action in the second half with none of the sides finding the back of the net, even as All Stars came close through Hillary Echesa’s header that missed the target by inches after substitute Boniface Akenga brought in the cross.

-Tusker’s first win-

After going two matches winless, Tusker shrugged off their slow start after left-back Aboud Omar and Jesse Were found the target as Oscar Wamalwa pulled one back for the Soldiers in the dying minutes.

The Brewers who entered the encounter from a 1-0 loss to Ushuru showed their intend to bounce back went for early goals and after several unsuccessful attempts, the opening goal came in the 35th through Omar who utilized Jockins Atudo’s cross to find space and shoot past Ulinzi keeper James Saruni.

Kimanzi charges who dominated the first period continued raiding Ulinzi’s defence and four minutes to the break Brian Osumba almost doubled the lead when he was set through for a one on one with situation with Saruni but the latter repelled the cracker for a fruitless corner.

It only took two minutes for Were to launch his goal hunt, when he doubled the lead after Kevin Kimani started the build-up from a thrown in to feed the 2013 Golden Boot runner-ups who in turn put the ball beyond Saruni’s reach.

Ulinzi soldiered on despite trailing two goals with John Nairuka breaking Tusker’s defence but unfortunately could not find the target as the second half became an end to end affair.

In the 85th, the Military side survived a scare when Geoffrey Kokoyo nearly gifted Tusker the third from an own goal only to see his back pass rolled across the goalmouth.

With three minutes added before the final whistle, Wamalwa took advantage of the confusion in Brewer’s defence to slot the consolation goal.

Elsewhere, Mathare United were held to a 1-1 draw by visiting 10-men Chemelil Sugar in a match that Stephen Wakanya was sent-off for a second bookable offense.

Eric Mata struck first for the Slum boys after heading home Eric Johana’s corner but Collins Kisuya cancelled the lead from a free-kick.

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