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Isuza penalty salvages point for AFC Leopards

AFC Leopards striker Marvin Omondi leads team-mates in celebratiON.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 25 – AFC Leopards stretched their Kenyan Premier League winless run to five successive matches after being held to a 1-1 draw at home against Kariobangi Sharks in a match played at a slippery Thika Sub-County Stadium on Wednesday.

Francis Manoa stepped off the bench to send Kariobangi Sharks ahead but as they thought they were destined for victory, Wyvonne Isuza gave AFC Leopards reprieve when he scored from the spot in the 90th minute.

The result saw Sharks remain winless in the month of April to stagnate 11th with 15 points while AFC Leopards climbed to fourth on 19 points.

After a goalless first half, Manoa raised high to flick home a free header from a well measured Patillah Omoto free-kick in the 76th minute to see their attacking effort pay after fluffing a series of open chances from Saphan Oyugi, Duke Abuya and Paul Kamau.

However, lapse of concentration at the Sharks backline cost them maximum points after defender Michael Bodo slid to hand the ball in the box to gift AFC Leopards a penalty.

Isuza did not waste the golden opportunity as he stepped up to convert home despite Sharks custodian John Oyemba, who provided man of the match performance, dived on the right direction.

AFC Leopards’ Dennis Kitambi Photo/FILE

Sharks were the better team in the opening 40 minutes and they could have broken the deadlock in the 10th minute had Abuya who dispossessed Robinson Kamura to surge forward alone scored with only the keeper, Otemba to beat. He shot wide in front of goals instead of placing.

Oyemba, the reigning Goal Keeper of the year pulled a superb save to keep Sharks in the game when he came off his line to deny Moses Arita who was set up by Kamura.

The last five minutes of the first half belonged to AFC but they could not convert the chances with Jeffari Owiti being the first victim, heading a feeble header down for the keeper to easily save before Oyemba cleared of the line after recovering from a slide on the stroke of half-time.

Sharks started the second half on a high and they could have scored through Kamau against the run of play, but the bulky forwards blazed over from close range. This is after the AFC Leopards defence poorly cleared a danger in the box.

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Oyemba them pulled what could content for a save of the season award when he dived to reflex a powerful shot that drove through the defenders from Marvin Omondi in the 63rd minute.

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