NAIROBI, Kenya, March 12- AFC Leopards 50th birthday turned sour when they were diluted by a solitary goal at struggling Muhoroni Youth in a mid week Kenyan Premier League match at Muhoroni Sports Complex.
Coach James Nandwa, who opted to rest Harambee Stars forward Allan Wanga and winger Wafula, could not pick his side up from clashing out of the CAF Confederations Cup to South Africa’s SuperSport United after going down 4-2 on goal aggregate after a 2-2 stalemate on Sunday.
Muhoroni welcomed their new tactician Francis Baraza in a style with Abbas Akinyemi, kissing the net in 19th.
The host could have opened the scores three minutes after kick-off through Ibrahim Ateng’s corner but keeper Martin Musalia cleared the danger.
Seven minutes later Akinyemi saw his shot go wide for a goal kick with Ezekiel Otuoma picking the ball but ended up wasting the chance with his off target shot.
Muhoroni’s pressure on Leopards defence paid through in the 19th when Akinyemi was awarded a freeckick at the edge of the box to open the deadlock.
The match was stopped for eight minutes after Ingwe players protested the goal but their plea landed on referees deaf ears.
Muhoroni concede a corner in 31st that was taken by Paul Were but his cross was cleared by defender Daniel Kiptoo.
With nine minutes to the breather, Were and Edwin Wafula were booked for infringement as Muhorono enjoyed 1-0 to half-time.
On resumption, Nandwa strengthened his attacking by introducing Charles Okwemba for Ezekiel Seda but he did not manage to break through Muhoroni defence who seemed to seat back, as Kiptoo was booked for wasting time in 61st.
Baraza substituted goal scorer Akinyemi for Tetieh Olesu, as Leopards enjoyed possession but could not restore parity as Muhoroni played hard to get, defending for the important three points.
Ingwe nearly levlled in 75th through Mike Khamati but his strike went wide.
Nandwa brought in Oscar Kadenge for Ugandan Musa Mudde in the midfield but the son of football legend Joe Kadenge could not lift his side as Muhoroni under their new coach who was appointed on Tuesday won their first match of the season following three straight loses.
The result further piles on the pressure on the Harambee Stars assistant coach with Leopards, presumed title candidates, yet to win a game this season despite heavy spending on the transfer market with defender Joseph Shikokoti, who was acquired from Tusker for Sh700,000 in the most expensive deal starting on the bench.
The GOtv Shield winners are now occupying the other relegation spot on two points as climbed one up to 14th.