NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 30 – Sleeping giants AFC Leopards seem to have finally found their mojo back after a second successful Kenyan Premier League victory took them second on the standings with seven points.
Ingwe who started their season with a 1-0 loss to Kakamega Homeboyz have picked back to back wins against Wazito and Chemelil Sugar, their four-star weekend performance against the sugar millers in Mumias earning them the plaudits.
Slowly but surely, leopards seem to be getting their act together, with not much of side show dramas that have punctuated their seasons year in year out since they last won the league title in 1998.
John Mark Makwatta, a deadline day signing for Ingwe after turning down rivals Gor Mahia has proved a bargain after his brace against Chemelil took his tally to three this season, having scored the lone goal in the win over Wazito.
Meanwhile, Robert Matano’s Tusker FC have also stepped up from their opening day hangover. The brewers have won back to back matches against Zoo Kericho and Sofapaka, recovering from the opening day 5-2 spanking they suffered at the hands of champions Gor Mahia.
The brewers were in destructive form, hitting Sofapaka 3-1 in Machakos on Sunday, a result that sent a statement of intent.
“We started the season slow because we had so many injuries and for the opening game, up to six first team players were missing. We have some players back and also we have worked to correct our weaknesses and that is why you see the results have improved,” Matano stated.
“Winning back to back is great for us because it improves our confidence. But we have to remain consistent and work harder. We need to focus on our next game and look for this same performance,” the tactician stated.
Sofapaka meanwhile under their new coach Divaldo Alves have not yet quite gotten off the ground with the Portuguese tactician decrying gift goals to Tusker in the loss.
“We had a very good first half and then in the second half, we conceded in the same way. The defense was slow to react and we were punished. Also, the chances we created in the first half and missed came back to haunt us,” Alves pointed out.
Sofapaka have won just one game, a 4-0 spanking of Chemelil Sugar while they picked a point away to Ulinzi Stars in a 0-0 draw.
Wazito FC finally won their first Kenyan Premier League match in the fourth time of asking after laboring to beat Zoo Kericho 2-0.
The high spending Wazito had drawn back to back matches against Nzoia and Western Stima before losing to Leopards, but the win away to Zoo will go a long way in improving their confidence.
Western Stima meanwhile retained their unbeaten start to the season after a 2-1 win over Kisumu All Stars in the ‘Mboka Derby’ with the league newcomers still winless after four games.
Elsewhere, the much talked about ‘Slum Derby’ pitting Kariobangi Sharks and Mathare United ended up being a stale affair, the two sides firing blanks in a 0-0 draw in Machakos.
It was yet another game that lacked the explosiveness of a derby, both sides being afraid to have a go at each other and playing with caution in their breast pockets.