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AFC, Mathare United play to uninspiring draw

Mathare United midfielder Alphonce Ndonye attempts to turn away from AFC Leopards’ Duncan Otieno in a Kenyan Premier League match at the Nyayo National Stadium on June 17, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 17- Romanian coach Dorian Marin picked a point on his debut as the AFC Leopards boss as Ingwe was held to a barren, uninspiring draw at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday evening as the Kenyan Premier League resumed from a three-week break.

It wasn’t as competitive and fast paced as had been touted but the point will be a huge one for Mathare head coach Francis Kimanzi who had seen his side go on a five-match losing streak to drop to the foot of the log.

Had they converted their chances, AFC Leopards who have not won over the last seven matches would have given themselves a huge surge on an afternoon they played way below their standards.

On his debut, Vincent Oburu was guilty of missing the two best chances that AFC Leopards had in the opening half of the game.

In the 11th minute, the 19-year old was put through with a neat pass from Harun Nyakha, but after sliding the ball past goalkeeper Wycliffe Kasaya, he took a minute more to pull the trigger, allowing Lennox Ogutu to rush back and tackle him as he prepared to tap the ball into the net.

Oburu was once again in the thick of things after 28 minutes when intercepted the ball as Kasaya attempted to pass the ball wide to Martin Ongori, but once again his inexperience showed.

The youngster chose to go for power instead of precision, Kasaya making up for his mess spreading himself on the floor to block the effort.

In between those two efforts by Oburu, Mathare also had two chances to break the deadlock.

Daniel Mwaura had teh first chance of the game after just four minutes when he broke away from the right but his cross into the box targeting Chris Oduor was cut away by his former team mate Robinson Kamura, now turning out for Ingwe.

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In the 24th minute, Joshua Mawira’s loose control gifted David ‘Messi’ Owino with the ball, but the youngster’s attempted volley went straight to Ian Otieno in the AFC goal.

AFC were not neat in their play and misplaced way too many passes with Mathare being the better in terms of build up and structural play.

AFC Leopards’ Dennis Sikhayi beats Mathare United’s Chris Oduor to the ball during a Kenyan Premier League match at the Nyayo National Stadium on June 17, 2017. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Marin made his first change of the match in the 34th minute pulling out Andrew Tololwa for the returning Musa Mudde who was re-signed by the club just last week.

Tololwa was visibly angered with the change and refused to stretch out his hand to the coach as he made way to the bench.

Oburu once again had another chance after an interchange of passes with Fiamenyo but his shot from the left kissed the side netting.

Four minutes to the break, Ian Otieno made a superb save for Leopards when he went down well to save a shot from Chris Onyango who had taken a first time shot from Edwin Mwaura’s cutback from the right.

In the second half, the error prone Kasaya was substituted and in his place came Levis Opiyo.

Just like Tololwa was angered in the first half, Kasaya left the pitch fuming heading to the bench and throwing his jersey down on the tartan with anger.

Mathare were dominant in possession, but it was Oburu who once again had the chances to score. In the 62nd minute, the youngster pounced on a long ball missed by defender George Owino, but Opiyo was quick off his line to block.

On the other end five minutes later, Lennox Ogutu’s header at the edge of the six yard box went over from a Mwaura cross.

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