Leopards maul Oserian to go top of the table

Feb 25, 2012
  • City Stars and Karuturi Sports game ended in a barren draw at the Nyayo National Stadium.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

AFC Leopards clawed their way to the summit of the Kenyan Premier League table with comprehensive 2-0 win over Oserian at the Nyayo National Stadium as erstwhile leaders Sony Sugar fell back after losing to Sofapaka at Gusii Stadium.

With all four top sides in action this weekend, Sony’s one-point lead was always in danger from the rest of the early pacesetters and at the conclusion of Saturday’s four matches, it was Leopards who supplanted the sugar-millers.

AFC Leopards 2 Oserian 0

23 minutes is all Ingwe needed to take the lead against a never-say-die Oserian side through former Harambee Stars striker Allan Wanga’s thumping header from a beautifully floated Salim Khamis free kick.

Wanga, who has been the subject of criticisms from a section of the club’s fans, had his best game so far since joining the club, save for the half a dozen chances that he spurned.

Unfortunately for Oserian, who took time to settle into the match, the goal came at a time when they had just begun getting a foothold into the game.

Goalkeeper Enock Obong'o was arguably the best performer for the flower men, keeping the scores low with several brilliant saves. Just on the stroke of half time, Obong'o denied Wanga a second goal after he blocked the striker’s angled shot. Martin Imbalambala’s follow up was cleared off the line.

On resumption, Wanga threw away two good chances within 10 minutes. First, he chested down a cross inside the box and shot on the turn but the ball screamed over the crossbar. Ten minutes later, he received another pass from Bernard Mangoli but his shot was nabbed by Obong’o.

Wanga should have had his much sought after brace in the 75th minute after intercepting a back pass, but Obong’o once again thwarted his effort. Oserian were living dangerously and they got caught out two minutes later when Jimmy Bageya sliced open the Oserian defence and found second half substitute Mike Baraza in space.

Baraza held his nerve and calmly rounded the on-rushing Obong’o before sweeping the ball home into an empty net. The final minutes of the game was a seesaw affair with a resolute Oserian refusing to go down without a fight.Paul Odhiambo and Keipas Mutuu both came close for the Naivasha side in the closing exchanges.

City Stars 0 Karuturi Sports 0

The early kick of match at Nyayo was a drab affair without any major incidents, though the flower men of Karuturi dominated play in the first 45 minutes.

Karuturi actually got the ball behind the net in the 35th minute, but Mohamed Mwachiponi was booked by center referee Raphael Nduati for handling the ball in the build-up to the disallowed goal.

Dan Serunkuma had a frustrating afternoon, wasting numerous chances for the home side. The Ugandan import, scorer of the first goal of the new league season, spurned a golden chance in the 45th minute when he failed to beat goalkeeper Noah Ayuko on a one-on-one situation.

Immediately after the breather, Serunkuma again failed to get to the end of a beautifully floated cross by Oscar Mbugua for what should have been the opening goal.

Ayuko was the busiest man on the field in the closing stages of the match, denying George Mwangi twice and Serunkuma yet again.

Sony Sugar 0 Sofapaka 1

John Baraza’s 40th minute was enough for Sofapaka to hand Sony Sugar their first loss of the season. Prior to the encounter at Gusii Stadium, Sony had won two straight matches. The win lifted Sofapaka to second place on the table on 7 points from three matches. Sony remains on 6 points, but drops to third on the log.

Thika United 2 Ulinzi 2

At Thika Municipal Stadium, hosts Thika United rallied from a two-goal deficit to share the spoils with the 2010 champions Ulinzi Stars. The soldiers raced to a bright start scoring two goals within the first 25 minutes through former Gor Mahia striker Wycliffe Ochomo and Evans Amwoka.

Thika captain Kepha Aswani reduced the arrears in the 29thminute but the host had to wait until the 78th minute when Francis Kahata scored to spare them the blushes.

 

Nesta Kizito

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