Football Football

KPL returns as Leopards, Tusker held


LEOPARDS-ENTICELLESNAIROBI, Kenya, July 2 – Resurgent AFC Leopards saw their momentum checked by Western Stima while Tusker FC escaped an upset at basement side Top Fry Nakuru as the second leg of the Kenyan Premier League resumed in a whimper on Wednesday.

With all eyes fixed on the enthralling goal fest at the ongoing Brazil 2014 World Cup, the domestic top flight club competition reverted to type after a month long break with the two matches on the cards returning a paltry two goals.

Stima forced Leopards who have enjoyed a sizzling revival under new Dutch coach, to a barren stalemate as he got his first taste of the grind that the is the KPL while Ismail Dunga came from the bench to rescue Tusker 12 minutes from time in a 1-1 draw at Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium.

The Brewers missed the opportunity to slash the lead at the top to a single point from half term leaders and champions Gor Mahia FC on 30 although they have a game in hand three adrift.

At Nairobi’s Nyayo Stadium, Stima keeper, Stephen Odhiambo, did the best impression of USA hero, Tim Howard, the night before when he locked out the marauding Leopards with a commanding display between the sticks.

Leopards, who started with their new signings midfielder Humphrey Mieno and forward Kenneth Wendo, were a better side in a game that they could have won by a mile save for the stand-out Odhiambo who was playing his first game of the season.

The custodian stood tall to repel Mieno from earning a dream Ingwe debut alongside Jacob Keli, Musa Mudde, left back Abdallah Juma and winger Paul Were.

The arrival of Mieno saw Mudde play on the flanks with the former Sofapaka midfielder leading Joseph Shikokoti and Charles Okwemba in the center as Wendo and Keli manned the forward line.

In Nakuru, the hosts took the lead on the stroke of halftime through Peter Ng’ang’a who headed in a Teddy Siwa free-kick before Dunga rescued the 2011 and 12 champion’s blushes when he netted the equaliser 12 minutes from time.