AFC Leopards claw Thika United, Muyoti disappointed

By alex wafula
Sep 21, 2017
  • AFC Leopards defender Mike Kibwage attempts to take on Thika United's Shami Kibwana. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

  • Thika United coach Nicholas Muyoti was left frustrated with the loss to AFC Leopards. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Nicholas Muyoti, the Thika United coach was left frustrated whenhis side lost 0-2 to AFC Leopards at their Thika Sub-County Stadium backyard on Wednesday.

After coming off a decent performance from last weekend where they held leaders Gor Mahia to a barren draw, the hosts' form dipped against Ingwe.

“I don’t even know what to say. I cannot understand how we played today. We conceded very cheap goals and this is a match we should have won. It is disappointing more so because of where we are on the table. We will keep on fighting and hope to change our situation,” Muyoti told Sports News Arena.

Alexis Kitenge scored a goal for AFC Leopards who also benefitted from an own goal by Christopher Oruchum,15 minutes from time.

While Thika United left the stadium heads down, AFC Leopards were happy because the win rekindled their hopes of a good finish.

“We played well, we won and I am happy. This is a good result for us because it shows we are ambitious and we want to go into the top eight. We have to finish in the top half,” Robert Matano, the AFC Leopards coach stated.

The win takes AFC Leopards to 11th while Thika United remain 16th, seven points away from safety.

The home side missed the services of inspirational skipper Dennis Odhiambo while Muyoti made a midfield change, starting up Michael Mutinda ahead of Saad Musa.

It wasn’t a fast paced start to the match but the two teams each had a shot on target within the first two minutes. Said Tsuma struck from range for Thika and the shot flew straight to Ian Otieno in the AFC Leopards goal.

Kitenge tried from range

On the other end, Kitenge also tried his luck from range but Allan Owiny was behind it.

Thika United weren’t as fluid in midfield as they were against Gor Mahia. Said Tsuma who had a blistering game against the league leaders struggled to assert himself.

AFC Leopards got into the lead in the 23rd minute as a result of suspect defending by Thika United.

Otieno’s deep freekick from the left landed on Robinson Kamura on the far right and the defender slapped in a cross into the box, Kitenge glancing in unmarked.

The goal added more confidence to Ingwe while Thika United appeared deflated. 

They tried to open up their attacking options using width but Eugene Mukangula remained an isolated man in the Thika United frontline.

AFC Leopards should have ended the half 2-0 up but Whyvonne Isuza’s connecting side foot shot from a Sammy Ndung’u cut back from the left went inches wide.

Bolted by the underperforming partnership in the middle of the pack, Muyoti started off the second half by shuffling his personnel, Michael Mwanje making way for Saad Musa.

It calmed down the approach and Thika United began playing the ball more, passing with ease but  failed to threaten.

Massive blow

Thika’s efforts suffered a massive blow 15 minutes from time when Oruchum scored into his own net in an attempt to clear away a tap from Duncan Otieno.

It was a goal that came off Thika’s own misgivings. Keeper Allan Owiny had started the ball short to Said Tsuma but the midfielder missed, Otieno winning and breaking into the box.

Immediately after going two down, Thika almost brought themselves back into contention when substitute Francis Muturi had a shot come off the upright after being put through by Saad.

But, not even the late surge could change their fortunes loosing their third match on five. 

Meanwhile, fellow relegation candidates Muhoroni Youth picked a point at home after being held to a 1-1 draw by Nakumatt FC.

KPL midweek results

Thika United 0 AFC Leopards 2 (Thika Sub-County Stadium), Posta Rangers 2 Kariobangi Sharks 2 (Moi Sports Centre Kasarani), Bandari 0 Tusker FC 3 (Mbaraki Complex), Muhoroni Youth 1 Nakumatt 1 (Muhoroni Complex).