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Aswani sends Leopards top after Homeboyz win

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AFC Leopards fans celebrating after Ingwe win. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

AFC Leopards fans celebrating after Ingwe win. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, March 30 – Giants AFC Leopards climbed top of the table after rallying a goal down to beat Kakamega Homeboyz 2-1 in a pulsating SportPesa Premier League encounter played under floodlights at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday.

In the early kick-off at the same venue, Nairobi City Stars slowed Mathare United’s pace after silencing the Slum boys 2-0 to see the Francis Kimanzi side drop from top to third on 11 points, two behind Tusker FC, who moved second after thrashing Chemelil Sugar 3-0.

Elsewhere, Sofapaka fell 1-0 away to Western Stima, Ushuru were 2-1 winners over Muhoroni Youth while fresh from being named Player of the Month for February, Timothy Otieno canceled out Robert Omunuk’s 16th minute goal to help Posta Rangers draw 1-1 with Sony Sugar.

With the league resuming from a two-week international break, Leopards were looking to maintain their good run that has seen them ranked among title contenders after going unbeaten in the opening five matches.

And indeed all went as scripted despite finding themselves trailing after nine minutes of play when Charles Momanyi drove home a low shot from inside box to hand the new boys confidence.

However, Ingwe recovered in the second-half to net two goals in a space of 14 minutes through Eugene Ambulwa and Kepha Aswani with both goals nodded from headers.

Leopards were a pale shadow of themselves in the first-half, creating few chances that could not even threaten Homeboyz custodian Philip Odhiambo.

First it was Victor Omune, who pulled a long range shot at the quarter hour mark that did not trouble Odhiambo before Andrew Tololwa was set up by Hedmond Mauda, only for the former Tusker FC forward to blast wide with only the keeper to beat.

Half-time pep talk from head coach Ivan Minneart paid off as Ingwe turned their claws to Homeboyz on resumption.

It only took 11 minutes for the hosts to find their grip when Ambulwa raised high to head home a Yusuf Juma set-piece and restore parity.

The goal woke up Leopards, who kept on attacking until Aswani found the target in the 79th minute when he nodded Ingwe’s second from an inviting cross to take the lead.

The last nine minutes could see Leopards keeper Lukas Indeche calm down the match as he perfected the time wasting tactics before he was booked for the same offence.

The win saw Ingwe sit at the summit on 14 points ahead of weekend fixtures where they travel to a motivated Nairobi City Stars.

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