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Wanyonyi hands AFC’s Mbungo debut loss

Mount Kenya United’s Timothy Wanyonyi celebrates his goal that proved to be the winner. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

MACHAKOS, Kenya, Feb 6 – Timonah Wanyonyi scored the winner against his former employers as Mount Kenya United picked their second win in succession, beating AFC Leopards 2-1 at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on Wednesday afternoon.

In other fixtures, Gor Mahia fresh from handing Zamakek a 4-2 beating in the CAF Confederation Cup match, beat Vihiga United 1-0 with Nicholas Kipkirui scoring the lone goal.

At the Kisumu Stadium in Kisumu, Western Stima were 1-0 victors over visiting Zoo FC.

In Machakos, focus was on new AFC Leopards head coach, Rwandese coach Cassa Mbungo who took charge of his first game having arrived in the country on Monday and announced as the club’s third coach this season yesterday.

However, it was a poor start for Mbungo as Mount Kenya United handed him a rude welcome to the Kenyan Premier League.

Defender Amani Kyata broke the deadlock for Mount Kenya after quarter of an hour before his nemesis on the opposite end Salim ‘Shittu’ Abdallah responded to take the sides to the half time break even.

AFC Leopards new boss Cassa Mbungo during his side’s during their Kenyan Premier League clash against Mount Kenya United at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on February 6, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Wanyonyi however ensured bottom side Mount Kenya eased their relegation fears with a goal 17 minutes from time.

Mbungo made several changes to the team with Rwandese keeper Eric Ndayishimiye starting ahead of Jairus Adira, Dennis Sikhayi returning at right back, Salim ‘Shittu’ Abdallah coming into defense while Jaffary Owiti was pushed back to his favorite position on the left side of attack.

But, Ingwe who have won just twice this campaign were stunned quarter of an hour into the match when Amani scored his third goal in two matches, sneaking in at the backpost to head in from a Moses Odhiambo freekick with Ndayishimiye caught flat out.

Mount Kenya had started the match with some belief of sorts coming into the tie after breaking Mathare United’s unbeaten run and before going ahead, they had a clean chance with Brian Nyakan missing a free tap in off a Timonah Wanyonyi cross.

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AFC should have drawn level after 20 minutes but Wayeka Tatuwe missed a glorious opportunity unmarked at the backpost when he arrived a fraction late after Saad Musa’s low corner was missed by everyone in the box.

AFC Leopards’ defender Dennis Sikhayi vies for the ball with Mount Kenya United’s John Ndirangu during their Kenyan premier League clash at the Kenyatta Stadium in Machakos on February 6, 2019. PHOTO/Raymond Makhaya

Three minutes later, keeper Philip Odhiambo had to be at his best to turn Robinson Kamura’s freekick from range behind for a corner and from the resultant setpiece that was defended with nerves, Musa sent a shot over from the edge of the area.

Owiti had a golden opportunity on the half hour mark when he was sent through on goal with a peach of a through pass from Eugene Mukangula, but the winger failed to beat Odhiambo one on one.

Three minutes later though, Ingwe were level.

Abdallah marked his return to the starting team with a goal, rising highest at the edge of the six yard box to thump a Marcel Kaheza corner home.

Mount Kenya almost threw in an immediate response but Ndayishimiye pulled off a brilliant save, leaping to his left to palm away an overhead kick from John ‘Softie’ Ndirangu off a Boniface Mukhekhe cross.

Mount Kenya United head coach Medo Mellis instructing. Photo/RAYMOND MAKHAYA

The two coaches made changes in the early minutes of the second half, Mount Kenya’s Medo bringing on Nahashon Thiong’o and Harun Nyakha for Samuel Ndung’u and Ndirangu respectively.

On the hour mark, Oburu was gifted with a chance barely five minutes into the pitch when a poor fdefensive header by Mount Kenya fell in his path, but he failed to hit a strong shot when he was pushed wide to his weaker right foot.

Medo was forced into a change minutes later, defender Mohammed Nigo coming off with a hamstring problem and was replaced by John Kamau.

AFC continued to push and had two good chances, first Wayeka missing a crucial connection of the ball at the backpost from a brilliant cross from Kaheza. Later, Mount kenya lost the bal softly and Oburu fed Owiti, but his shot went inches wide.

Chasing a winner, AFC were caught flat out in the 73rd minute off a counter attack, their former player Wanyonyi rounding the keeper before hitting into an empty net despite a late tackle from Kamura.

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Thrown off balance, Mbungo’s AFC went into attack mode again, Kaheza making way for Aziz Okaka, a change that didn’t go down well with the handful of AFC fans who had come into the midweek tie as he was one of their brightest players.


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