NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 5- Andrew Tololwa repaid the faith shown in him by head coach Robert Matano, scoring the only goal of the match as AFC Leopards beat troubled Nakumatt FC 1-0 to move 12th on the Kenyan Premier league log.
Nakumatt, who are battling to stay afloat amidst a financial crisis still found within themselves some strength to fight especially in the second half, but they could not find the back of the net.
However, the team owned by troubled supermarket chain Nakumatt Holdings already have relegation worries wiped off after performing well in the first leg and will now only be planning on their survival next season.
Tololwa opened the scoring with a thumping header in the 14th minute from the edge of the six yard box when he rose amidst tight marking to nod in a well weighted delivery from a free-kick by Duncan Otieno.
Ingwe were rightly gifted for a positive start that had seen them raid the Nakumatt half with ambition, Vincent Oburu and Aziz Okaka tearing up the backline with some electric pace.
Earlier before the goal, Oburu was gifted with a chance after some haphazard defending by Nakumatt centre-back Kennedy Onyango, but the youngster could not take full advantage of the chance, firing wide from inside the box.
Two minutes after going ahead, a quick interchange of passes between Alex Kitenge, Tololwa and Oburu almost bore the second goal, but Oburu’s shot after breaking into the box was well saved by Ezekiel Owade in the Nakumatt goal.
AFC continued to pound pressing Nakumatt into their own half. In the 28th minute, Ingwe had a chance with a freekick from scoring range but Duncan Otieno went for power instead of precision, thumping the ball into the wall.
Robert Matano’s men had more chances to score and they twice hit the bar. In the 36th minute, Mudde was set up by Oburu who had done all the spadework driving the ball from his own half to the edge of the box, but the Ugandan midfielder hit the bar with his shot.
Two minutes later, it was Oburu’s turn to hit the upright, this time gliding past two of his markers before shooting low, but the effort bounced on the post.
Four minutes to the break, Nakumatt had their first chance of the game but Akenga missed with a header unmarked inside the box from a Joshua Oyoo cross.
In the second half, Nakumatt came back with an attacking intent and they pushed AFC into defending inside their own half.
Ingwe were forced to make a change quarter of an hour into the second half when keeper Gabriel Andika came off injured after clashing mid air with Nakumatt players as he went to pick a corner. He was replaced by youngster Edwin Mukolwe.
Mukolwe’s first order of business was to prevent an effort from Oyoo, and he did it well spreading his body nicely on the ground to thwart the effort on the left.
In the 72nd minute, Nakumatt had a glorious opportunity to raw back level after Akenga was put through by Kevin Omondi, but the forward with only Mukolwe to beat shot against the crossbar. From the rebound, Clinton Kisiavuki’s header was cleared off the line by Mike Kibwage.
AFC came alive in the final 10 minutes of the game but they couldn’t extend the score-line. Oburu had a chance nine minutes from time but his shot was saved by Owade.