Stima shock AFC Leopards, Nzoia drown Ulinzi

By alex wafula
Jul 30, 2017
  • Western Stima players celebrate Ezekiel Otuoma's goal against AFC Leopards. (Photo by Alex Wafula)

Robert Matano’s unblemished record on his return as AFC Leopards coach was breached on Saturday when his side fell 1-0 to Western Stima at Nyayo Stadium.

For a long time now, Western Stima have been Ingwe’s achilles heel and Ezekiel Otuoma’s 10th minute strike earned Henry Omino’s charges their eighth win in 16 matches against AFC Leopards.

After the match, Matano said despite the loss, he was pleased with the performance and remains confident they will get one over the powermen when they meet them again in three days.

“We played very well especially in the second half. It is only that our finishing was a bit off but despite losing, I am happy with the players. We just have to improve our mentality abit and we will be okay,” Matano said.

His opposite number Omino was elated with his side’s result and is already planning on completing the double on Wednesday, just like they did last season.

Western Stima broke the deadlock in the 10th minute in scrappy fashion with Otuoma heading the ball into the net while on the ground a millimeter away from goal.

AFC Leopards' keeper Gabriel Andika had palmed away the ball weakly from a Bernard Ondiek shot from the right and Otuoma just nodded it home.

It was a perfect start for the powermen who also claimed the scalp of Tusker FC in their last league match.

It was an equally intense approach from Ingwe. Western Stima shot stopper Samuel Odhiambo made a great save at point blank to deny Aziz Okaka’s header from the right.

On the opposite end, Western Stima almost got the second against the run of play when a quick transition with some good build up play found Oromchan Villa on the left, but the Ugandan’s low effort went wide.

Best chance

The best chance the entire match came AFC Leopards’ way in the 20th minute when the ball graciously fell on the feet of Alexis Kitenge after Western Stima defender Vincent Omumbo’s clearance ricocheted off his own player.

However, the Burundian’s shot with only the keeper to beat came off the crossbar and the visitors cleared their lines.

Western Stima were relentless in attack as well and the speed of Otuoma on the right and Brian Marita on the left proved to be a handful for the AFC Leopards' defense.

The visitors built up in the 24th with Otuoma racing away on the right and laying up an inviting cross but it was a few inches off Bernard Ondiek’s head.

Having been walked up for most of the opening half, Matano sought changes to stabilize his ship at the start of the second 45.

Keziron Kizito and Samuel Ndung’u came in for Whyvonne Isuza and Vincent Oburu respectively. But it was Western Stima who almost stole the show right at the start.

Villa struck a thunderous shot from inside the box, but Andika proved equal to the task with a decent save to keep the scores at 1-0.

Immediately sensing that they could drop into a second goal, AFC Leopards pumped up the pace. Substitute Kizito drove the team from the front, but Stima defended in numbers.

With a quarter of an hour left, Matano threw in his last dice, pulling out Kitenge for Ray Omondi, a like for like change to bring new feet in attack.

Omondi almost stole the equalizer with five minutes left but his ferocious shot was saved by Samuel Odhiambo in the Stima goal.

First win

In Nakuru, log leaders Ulinzi Stars were stunned 2-1 by Nzoia Sugar.

This was the sugar millers’ first win in five games. Luke Namanda and Masita Masuta scored in the second half to hand Bernard Mwalala’s team a much needed lead.

Despite Stephen Waruru scoring his 11th goal of the season with a screamer late on, Ulinzi could not mount a comeback.

Coach Benjamin Nyangweso was left ruing the results and for the umpteenth time this season cried out on the team’s finishing.

“We had very many chances to score but we could not take them. It is unfortunate to lose at home but I am hoping we can bounce back on Wednesday when we travel to Bungoma,” Nyangweso commented.

In other results, Kityo Bliss struck with four minutes remaining as Muhoroni Youth fought from a goal down to draw 1-1 with Sofapaka at Nyayo Stadium.

Batoto ba Mungu had gone ahead via a contentious Ezekiel Okare penalty, but the sugar belt side never backed down, fighting to get a point.

Sofapaka hugely underperformed and even coach Sam Ssimbwa admitted after the game that the visitors were better.

“Technically and tactically they were a very good side today. They didn’t play like a team which is down there on the table. We tried a bit in the second half but it wasn’t enough. We lost chances which we should have scored especially late on,” Ssimbwa told Sports News Arena.

KPL Weekend results fixtures (Kick off 3 p.m. unless stated):

Saturday: Sofapaka 1 Muhoroni Youth 1, AFC Leopards 0 Western Stima1 (Nyayo National Stadium), Chemelil Sugar 1 Thika United 1, Kakamega Homeboyz 1 Mathare United 1, Ulinzi Stars 1 Nzoia Sugar 1.

Sunday: Kariobangi Sharks v Zoo Kericho (2 p.m.), Gor Mahia v Nakumatt FC (Nyayo National Stadium, 4:15 p.m.), Tusker FC v Posta Rangers (Kinoru Stadium, Meru).