Fiamenyo saves AFC Leopards, Gor Mahia retain top spot

By alex wafula
May 14, 2017
  • Zoo Kericho Johnson Libare celebrates a goal against AFC Leopards. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • AFC Leopards Joshua Mawira in action against Zoo Kericho. (Photo by Shutterspeed)

  • Gilbery Fiamenyo scored the equaliser for AFC Leopards. (SNA. File Photo)

Gilbert Fiamenyo stepped off the bench to salvage a point for AFC Leopards as they rallied from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Zoo Kericho in Machakos.

Fiamenyo, who is AFC Leopards’ top scorer had started on the bench alongside Ugandan Allan Katterega for what the Dennis Kitambi, the Ingwe assistant coach termed as disciplinary measures.

“The decision to have the two on the bench was purely because of discipline. In the SoNy game, there was some fracas between the two of them and that is why we decided they could not start the game today,” Kitambi said after the match.

Stewart Hall, the AFC Leopards coach was angry and walked out of the technical area immediately after the final whistle.

It was a different Hall on show as normally, the Briton walks to the pitch to congratulate his players and the opponents.

Sammy Okoth, the Zoo Kericho boss was disappointed with the result, saying his side did not deserve to draw.

He noted they commanded most of the game and had the better of chances, but blamed his side’s inexperience for failing to utilize the scoring opportunities.

Until Fiamenyo’s 86th minute goal, AFC Leopards were staring at a third successive loss.

However, Kitambi says the point gained from the league’s new boys will spur them into better results in the next assignment against Kakamega Homeboyz.

Formation change

For the first time this season, AFC Leopards had gone with a formation change, doing away with the 3-5-2 formation and going for a 4-3-3.

Kitambi explained they had to make the change as they did not have the right personnel to play in their usual shape, especially with right wingback Dennis Sikhayi yet to return from injury.

He went with a flat four at the back with Daniel Mawira and Marcus Abwao playing on the right and left side of defense.

Youngster Harun Nyakha started his first game of the season, playing as part of the three-man front line.

After a goalless first half, Zoo Kericho were the first to bounce and broke the deadlock on the hour mark when Johnston Ligare leaped highest inside the box to head in a Geoffrey Gichana corner.

AFC Leopards’ poor defending of set pieces was exposed once again as at SoNy, they conceded in the same manner.

The visitors should have had more goals but lost chances.

Nicholas Kipkurui saw his shot well blocked by Gabriel Andika’s super reflex having pulled in a belter from the edge of the box.

Bernard Odhiambo also saw a shot go begging after beating the defense to face Andika one on one but the keeper blocked with his body spread on the ground.

Fiamenyo and Katterega were introduced and their pace was at hand to turn AFC Leopards into the game.

Four minutes from time, Fiamenyo controlled and shot in a freekick from Robinson Kamura as the hosts scraped for a point.

Gor cement top position

In Mumias, Gor Mahia cemented their position on top of the log with a solitary goal win over Nzoia Sugar.

It was perfect revenge for K’Ogalo who were eliminated from the GOtv Shield by the Bungoma-based club via the same score line.

Kagere slotted home a cool 14th minute goal, rounding off the keeper after going past the backline.

The hosts had a brilliant chance to draw parity on the half hour mark but Edwin Wafula saw his penalty saved by Boniface Oluoch after Boniface Omondi was brought down inside the box by Harun Shakava.

Posta Rangers saw themselves drop two points behind after being frustrated to a 0-0 score-line by Nakumatt FC in Nakuru.

Sammy Omollo’s men however remain unbeaten after 11 rounds of matches.

KPL Weekend results

Saturday: Chemelil Sugar 0 Sofapaka1 (Chemelil Complex), Kariobangi Sharks 1 Bandari 0 (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Ulinzi Stars 2 Muhoroni Youth 1 (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru), Western Stima 3 Mathare United 2 (Moi Stadium, Kisumu).

Sunday: AFC Leopards 1 Zoo Kericho 1 (Kenyatta Stadium, Machakos), Nzoia Sugar 0 Gor Mahia 1 (Mumias Complex), Posta Rangers 0 Nakumatt 0 (Afraha Stadium, Nakuru), Thika United 0 Kakamega Homeboyz 0 (Thika Stadium), Tusker FC 2 SoNy Sugar 1 (Ruaraka Complex).