NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – AFC Leopards interim coach, Dennis Kitambi stayed unbeaten since taking charge of the club after guiding his charges to a 2-1 win against Kakamega Homeboyz in a Kenyan Premier League clash played at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Sunday.
There was late drama in the dying five minutes added by referee, when AFC was handed a controversial penalty in the 95th minute after Esiye was judged to have deliberately handled the aerial ball when he was going for it with his keeper, Wanyika.
Odera, who lost his mum recently did well to convert the penalty that ensured Ingwe picked maximum points and their fourth successive win under Kitambi.
Kakamega Homeboyz head coach, Mike Mururi was not pleased with the decision, slamming the referee, saying he issued a soft penalty.
“I thank my players; they have played very well under instructions, but let us lose fairly. The referees should be fair. I’m not happy with the last penalty that AFC got, I’m not happy with officiating because the goalkeeper went to clear the ball and the player did not handle the ball intentionally, It’s not a penalty,” an angered Mururu lamented after the match.
“AFC is a good team, they are playing well and they have improved but officiating was not fair. I’m happy with how my players have played and I will just tell my players to have a strong character and be mentally tough for anything,” Mururu added.
His corresponding counterpart Kitambi, was totally reading from a different script as he praised his charges a spirited fighting spirit.
“It’s a an important win, we are putting pressure on Gor, fantastic fighting spirit from the boys because we had to dig deep in order to get that goal, but we need to improve on our defence. I am happy with Odera – a boy who has scored four goals in four matches tells you that he wants to play and you just have to heed and give him the chance,” smiling Kitambi said.
AFC Leopards took the lead in the 13th minute through Marvin Omondi who well timed to powerfully connect a Jaffery Odenyi cross past Kakamega Homeboyz custodian Michael Wanyika.
However, Homeboyz responded immediately, a minute later courtesy of Moses Mudavadi who picked a set-up from Eston Esiye to slam the ball home from close range to lift his side back in the game.
On the half-hour mark, Marvin Omondi could have bagged a double for himself and AFC Leopards when Ezekiel Odera found him but the striker missed the ball infront of goal with keeper Wanyika already beaten.
The win saw AFC Leopards return back to second position on the log with 16 points same as bitter rivals Gor Mahia who have a better goal difference and a goal in hand.