NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 14 – AFC Leopards and Kariobangi Sharks played to a 0-0 draw in an entertaining Kenyan Premier League match at the Kasarani Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
After a horrendous first half performance, AFC came back a rejuvenated side in the second period and the changes to bring on Austin Odhiambo and Hansel Ochieng proved to be the difference in terms of performance for Ingwe.
However, despite their improvement, they could not find the back of the net while Sharks will only have themselves to blame after failing to hit AFC when they were down in the opening half.
The below par AFC Leopards were lucky to have gone to the half time break still level and had their Ugandan keeper Benjamin Ochan to thank after he bailed them out twice in succession at the stroke of half time.
In the 44th minute, Ochan stuck out a foot to keep out a low strike from Patrick Otieno who had run behind the slow Ingwe defense off a counter to face the keeper one on one.
From the resultant corner, Sharks took one off the training ground, Duke Abuya starting short to skipper Eric Juma who picked out an unmarked Patillah Omotto. However, the midfielder’s curling effort from the edge of the area was punched out by Ochan.
AFC were hugely average in the game and barely posted any danger to Sharks who should have used more of their advantage to create scoring opportunities.
Perhaps the only danger Ingwe created was in the 16th minute when Paul Were swung in a cross from the left but Samwel Olwande did well to cut it out with the burly Ismaila Diarra lurking behind him.
Otieno then forced Ochan into a point blank save in the 25th minute when he ran behind Collins Shivachi inside the box, but could not lift the ball over the keeper who raced sprawling off his line.
In the 37th minute Eric Kapaito missed the target by a whisker when he dived in to head a cross from Duke Abuya, but the effort bounced inches wide.
In the second half, AFC coach Cassa Mbungo made changes, Diarra and John Wanda who had a horrible first half being hauled out for Odhiambo and Ochieng.
The two brought an immediate impact and Leopards had a chance six minutes after the restart when Odhiambo’s cross from the right landed on Makwatta who took on a half volley to force Brian Bwire into a wonderful save.
Ochieng landed on the rebound, but could not keep his header down, lifting the ball over the bar.
Three minutes later, Bwire pulled off another brilliant save to deny Ochieng who fired home a shot from the edge of the six yard box after Were cut back a cross from the left after one of his brilliant runs.
Sharks were forced to play on the back foot with AFC raiding their half searching for goals. Makwatta had another chance in the 75th minute when he struck a belter from distance but Bwire once again made a good save.
Four minutes later, the former Ulinzi Stars and City Stars man thought he had broken the deadlock when he connected well to an Odhiambo cross, but the referee’s flag was up for offside.
Makwatta had turned well off an Ochieng pass but the assistant had the flag up, signalling that Odhiambo had interferred with the ball from an offside position.