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AFC Leopards striker Elvis Rupia glides away from Posta Rangers defender Suleiman Ngotho during their BetKing Premier League match at the Ruaraka Complex on May 22, 2021. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

Football

AFC Leopards’ top spot charge slowed down by Posta Rangers

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 22 – Ten-man AFC Leopards’ charge for the top of the BetKing Premier League standings was halted on Saturday after being held to a goalless draw by Posta Rangers at the Ruaraka Complex.

Ingwe would have gone top above Tusker with three points against Posta, but they only managed one which took them to second spot with 33 points.

Kariobangi Sharks dropped to third after they were beaten 2-0 by Ulinzi Stars in Narok in the other league fixture, breathing a sigh of relief to Tusker who dropped two points in a 1-1 draw with Wazito on Friday.

Posta were dominant in the opening half, completely bossing possession and limiting AFC Leopards in all their strengths.

But for all their possession and upper hand in the game, Posta did everything right but score. They moved well from their half into the AFC half, but when they reached the final third, everything bottled down for them.

Francis Nambute had their best chances of the game, all going begging.

In the 20th minute, the striker did well to skip beyond Clyde Senaji on the left, but he took the more difficult option of going for goal from a tight angle. His shot was easily saved by Benjamin Ochan, with his teammates screaming at him to cut the ball back.

He had an even better opportunity in the 44th minute when he beat Senaji to a long ball. His first effort was saved by Ochan who had come storming off his line. He picked up the rebound, but his pale shot was once again picked out by the Ugandan keeper.

Leopards didn’t threaten much in the opening half. Their closest chance at goal was with an Austin Odhiambo shot from range which went wide. Keeper Kelvin Opiyo remained untested for most of the opening 45.

In the second half, Posta were handed a numerical advantage when Isaac Kipyegon was sent off for a last man challenge on Nambute, just three minutes after the restart.

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Leopards made changes, Olilo being sacrificed for Robinson Kamura to seal the defensive gap left by Kipyegon while Bienvenue Shaka was brought off for Hansel Ochieng.

Surprisingly, it was Leopards who were the better team, but just like Posta’s problem in the opening half, Ingwe could not make the chances count.

There was almost a nervy ending to the match with both sides having close chances. Substitute Hansel saw his near post header from an Austin Odhiambo corner blocked while on the other end, Evans Maliachi had a well curling freekick turned behind for a corner.

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