NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 29 – Gilbert Fiamenyo’s goal in the 70th minute earned AFC Leopards a hard fought point against Kenyan Premier League leaders Posta Rangers at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru on Saturday afternoon.
Rangers were hoping for another win to keep them comfortable on top of the table and were headed for the same after Joseph Nyaga’s first half goal, but the Ghanaian breached the water-tight defense for only the second time this season.
In other fixtures, defending champions Tusker FC scraped to a 1-0 win away to Muhoroni Youth, continuing in their resurgence while in Sudi, hosts Nzoia Sugar battled to draw 1-1 with visiting Sony Sugar.
In Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium, Sammy ‘Pamzo’ Omollo’s men were reduced to 10 men in the 80th minute when Simon Mbugua was sent to the early shower with a second yellow card, but Rangers managed to hold on to the point and remain unbeaten after eight rounds of matches.
While Omollo kept faith in the same squad that played last weekend, AFC Leopards head coach Stewart Hall made one change to his side, Samuel Ndung’u started on the left wingback ahead of Marcus Abwao who dropped to the bench.
Mungai Kiongera who had just returned from injury started off the bench.
There were plenty of old boys facing their former employers with Posta shot stopper Patrick Matasi coming up against his first ever top tier team AFC as well as striker Dennis Mukaisi.
On the other end, Ian Otieno, Salim ‘Shittu’ Abdallah and Duncan Otieno were all coming up against their immediate former team Posta.
Both teams started the match with pace with AFC eager to bounce back after their midweek loss to Sofapaka. The thought to have had the opener in the 12th minute but Fiamenyo’s goal was ruled out for offside.
Posta however were the first to score when Joseph Nyaga side footed home a Joseph Mbugi freekick in the 19th minute. Mbugi floated in the ball from the left after Mukaisi had been brought down by his former team mate Abdallah and Nyaga took advantage of poor defending to slot home.
On the half hour mark, AFC came close to equalizing but Andrew Tololwa headed over a corner from Whyvonne Isuza.
Mukaisi though should have punished his former side six minutes later, but he could not beat Ian Otieno one on one. The experienced forward beat his marker with pace, burst into the box before sidestepping Otieno, but he failed to blast home from a tight angle.
AFC had the best chance of the half five minutes to the break when Allan Katterega weaved to the edge of the box but his shot was smothered for a corner by Matasi.
In the second half, Stewart Hall reshuffled his cards, bringing in the deadly Kiongera for Tololwa.
Ingwe were on the ascendancy and Katterega should have made a 50th minute freekick count but he blasted wide. On the other end, Geoffrey Kataka shot wide from the edge of the box from a poorly defended corner.
In the 65th minute, AFC had claims for a goal shut down after claiming Matasi had crossed the line with the ball from a Katterega cross.
But their tears were wiped by Fiamenyo who struck his fourth goal of the season with a simple tap in off an Isuza low cross.
With Mbugua sent off in the 80th minute, Omollo brought on Hashim Mukhwana for goal scorer Nyaga to seal the point.
Posta remain on top of the log but might be dislodged on Sunday if former champions Gor Mahia pick up maximum points against Mathare United at the Thika Stadium.