NAIROBI, May 16 – The Kenyan Premier League (KPL) table has a traditional look after AFC Leopards moved up to second behind archrivals Gor Mahia after putting their Mombasa woes aside to brush off Muhoroni Youth 2-0 on Saturday.
In the first of the televised double header at Nairobi’s Nyayo National Stadium, Nairobi City Stars held Ushuru to a 1-1 draw while in Chemelil, Bandari forced the hosts to a similar result.
Jacob Keli fired Ingwe to the lead after only two minutes with a superb half-volley before skipper Jackson Saleh doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time to lead Leopards who were bailed out by former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga and Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho after being stuck at their hotel down at the coast in commanding the right headlines.
This was Ingwe’s third successive win that lifted them to within six points behind champions Gor who are leading the log on 27 points ahead of Sunday’s clash against struggling Nakuru All Stars.
“It feels good to get three points although it was tough since fatigue came in the first half but I appreciate the boy’s worked very hard. Our strategy was to attack and that’s why we had may forwards.
“There are problems outside the pitch and inside, we are managing them and that’s why we are here but it’s another ball game. Our long-term goal is to finish in a respectable position,” Leopards assistant coach, Yusuf Chippo said after the win.
His opposite number, Francis Baraza who suffered his third successive defeat said lack of experience cost them.
“Conceding the early goal saw us change formation which ended up costing us but the boys tried.
“The bad outing so far puts me in pressure but I have a young team, we lost good players last season so we will struggle in the first-leg before we sign two or three seasoned players for us to finish top 10.”
Leopards welcomed back youngster Timonah Wanyonyi who missed their 2-1 win at Bandari on Tuesday due to illness to bench Fredrick Ndaaka.
Keli gave Ingwe a perfect start when he shielded Musa Mudde’s long ball to turn and with a brilliant half-volley that beat keeper Allan Owiny for his eighth goal of the season and lead the top scorer chart.
Keli then set up Noah Wafula who squandered the chance with his feeble shot that was easily picked by Owiny whilst at the other end; Wycliffe Kasaya made two back-to-back saves denying skipper Abbas Akinyemi and Wellington Ochieng.
Saleh capitalized on the visitor’s poor defending in the 43rd minute when he headed home Abdallah Juma’s corner to leave Baraza charges chase the second-half.
Despite bringing on Benjamin Mosha and Masita Masuta for Ebrahim Ateng and Jeremiah Wanjala Muhoroni could not come back in the game that saw Leopards head coach Zdravko Logarusic solidify his midfield.
Emmanuel Ngama, Michael Khamati and Wanyonyi were withdrawn for Noah Wafula, Clement Kabemba and Lamine Dialo to maintain the dominance in the midfield.
The last chance for Leopards came in the dying minutes but his header from Ngama cross couldn’t hit the target.
In the early kick-off, Bruno Sserunkuma scored in the second-half to rescue a point for City Stars who missed a penalty through Luis Masika who could have cancelled Muhammad Hassan’s opener.
In Chemelil, Anthony Kimani scored for the Dockers while Alloys Mangi netted for the host.