Football Football

Blunt Leopards held by Bandari


JUMA-OKOTNAIROBI, Kenya, July -9 AFC Leopards failed to climb to the Top 8 of the Kenyan Premier League for the first time this season when they were forced to a barren draw visiting Bandari in a mid week tie at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium.

Ingwe continued their three-game winless run despite bolstering their squad during the mid season transfer window.

Leopards remain stuck on 12th on 18 points, 13 adrift of bitter rivals Gor Mahia who are leading the log alongside Tusker FC.

Head coach Hendrik Pieter De Jongh was seeking to bounce back after suffering a 2-1 loss against Ulinzi Stars but despite adjusting the squad by starting with Humphrey Mieno and Bernard Mang’oli for Joseph Shikokoti and Jacob Keli his charges fired blanks.

On the other hand, his opposite number Twahir Muhiddin preferred to stick with his winning team against Chemelil Sugar.

The hosts created more chances but failed to beat Harambee Stars keeper Wilson Obungu with Keli’s last minute effort cannoning off the crossbar.

Winger Paul Were who is reported to head to South Africa for trials, Ugandan Musa Mudde, Mieno and Charles Okwemba launched waves of attacks in the first half but could break the deadlock.

The Dockers threatened with new signings Jimmy Bageya and Bruno Sserunkuma who kept Leopards backs busy.

Sserunkuma could have given the visitors the opener in the7th after the former City Stars forward dribbled past defenders only to see his shot hit the side net.

His countryman Mudde responded for Ingwe in the 19th when he found space to unleash a cracker that forced Obungu to punch over the bar for a fruitless corner.

Okwemba wasted Mieno’s pin point pass three minutes later after he struck wide in front of goal.

Bandari then took control of the game with Bagaya going past stand-in captain James Situma on the right but the Ugandan went for glory as Kepha Aswani and Sserunkuma waited to tap home.

Bagaya was at it again twice with five minutes to the break as he made a swift run from the left to feed Aswani but Abdallah Juma recovered quickly to block his shot before Bagaya unleashed a shot that went slightly above the cross bar.

De Jongh made use of all his substitutions upon resumption hoping for a change with Okwemba being rested for Keli before Were paved way for new signing Keneth Wendo.

The changes kept the game alive as they piled pressure on the Dockers with Keli coming close in the last minute of added time when he connected Austin Ikenna’s cross only to be denied by the wood work for Bandari to sneak away with the point.