NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 1 – AFC Leopards’ woes continued on Saturday evening when they suffered their fifth loss in nine Kenyan Premier League (KPL) games, going down 2-0 to Kariobangi Sharks at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru.
Goals from either half by Ebrimah Sanneh and Mathew Odongo Tayo gave the KPL newcomers a huge lift after drawing three consecutive games, the result taking them to fourth on the log while AFC Leopards dipped to 13th.
In other results on Saturday, Muhoroni Youth picked up vital three points on the road with a 2-1 win over Western Stima at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu, lifting them up to 15th In the log while Stima sunk back to the relegation zone, one place up bottom.
At the Sudi Stadium in Bungoma, visiting Thika United played out with a barren draw against Nzoia Sugar.
In Nakuru, AFC’s new boss Tom Juma had hoped to finally break the side’s eight-match winless streak against an on form Sharks, but the side could not turn the tables.
Juma had given a debut to midfielder Victor Majjid signed from Chemelil Sugar, pairing up in midfield alongside Duncan Otieno while Musa Mudde, Keziron Kizito and Ray Omondi, the other new boys in the team starting from the bench.
Sharks, who have been on a rhythm of sorts, were faster off the blocks with their good interchange of play troubling Leopards. However, they couldn’t show much for their possession on the business end of the pitch.
In the second half, William Muluya’s side came back with more intent and they needed just five minutes to show what they wanted.
Gambian striker Sanneh stepped up to open his Sharks account with an easy tap in from close range after picking out a pass from Tayo. AFC were caught off their bellies with Elli Asieche starting off the move in midfield.
Tayo almost grabbed the second three minutes later when he cut inside, but his shot was too weak for Ian Otieno to calmly collect.
AFC who have not scored a goal in their last four KPL games tried to rise back and get an equalizer, but they were stopped by a resolute Sharks defense.
Juma made changes, bringing off Samuel Ndung’u for new boy ray Odhiambo while Whyvonne Isuza was also rested for another new signing, Ugandan Kezziron Kizito.
Sharks continued to scavenge at the Leopards goal in search of a second and Ian Otieno was forced to quickly react and pick the ball after initially spilling it from a stinging freekick by Ovellah Ochieng.
They finally got the much needed second pressure relieving goal when Tayo’s freekick was deflected off the wall.