Tusker open four point gap as AFC Leopards, Posta lose

By alex wafula
May 14, 2016
  • Tusker head coach Paul Nkata.(Photo:SNA File)

Tusker FC, the 10-time Kenya Premier League champions opened up a four point gap at the top of the table after a 1-0 win over Sofapaka in Machakos.

The lead may only be for 24 hours because Mathare United plays Bandari on Sunday at the Mbaraki Complex in Mombasa. The result could see a change st the top of the SportPesa-sponsored league. If they win,

The chasing pack of Posta Rangers and AFC Leopards lost their matches. 

Posta were beaten 1-0 by Chemelil Sugar at the Nyayo Stadium with David Ojuang scoring the lone goal while AFC Leopards lost 1-0 away to Muhoroni Youth courtesy of a late Benjamin Mosha goal.

The Tanzanian national volleyed from the edge of the six-yard box after controlling well a pass from Kennedy Rono. “Today we did not play well and I am disappointed,” Ivan Minnaert, the AFC Leopards coach stated after the loss.

In this match, AFC Leopards struggled to assert themselves compared to how they performed played in the last two games against Ulinzi Stars in the KPL Top Eight and Posta Rangers last weekend.

It was the hosts who looked more comfortable and had the first chance of the game with defender Wellington Ochieng heading wide a Yussuf Mohammed corner.

The partnership between Bernard Ongoma and Andrew Tololwa at the heart of the Ingwe midfielder struggled to click.

They could not string enough passes together and Tololwa’s fitness was questionable. He had an injury.  

Hedmond Mauda came close for Minnaert’s side with a shot at the edge of the box but struggled to chase all the three points from the sugar belt side.

Muhoroni had a goal disallowed in the 39th minute after Lucas Indeche punched the ball into his own net but the referee whistled for an impediment on the custodian with league top scorer Wycliffe Ochomo adjudged to have pushed him from a Yussuf Mohammed corner.

In the second half, Muhoroni pushed harder and played with more purpose.

They were rewarded a minute to time with Mosha turning in a volley for the winner. The three points now send Muhoroni to sixth on the KPL standings.

Tusker win 

In the day’s late kick off, Tusker picked the three points against Sofapaka despite an uninspiring performance. This was the 11th loss and coach David Ouma was unhappy.

He was particularly critical of keeper turned striker Barnabas Tiema who squandered a great 79th minute chance to equalize and was substituted despite being brought in less than 10 minutes earlier.

“Losing those matches does not mean I am a bad coach. Players must take responsibility. We conceded the goal in a way which we had trained on all week and it is not something good for me. However, I trust that we shall recover.

Right now, I just have to use what I have available,” the coach said in reference to his inexperienced squad.

Sofapaka had put in a spirited performance and had the match’s first chance in the 18th minute via a Herritier Luvualu freekick which was fisted away by Tusker keeper David Okello.

 At the stroke of half time, Ghanaian Stephen Owusu was presented with a superb chance from Ronald Musana’s cut back but his shot on the left foot was deflected for a corner.

In the second half, Tusker head coach Paul Nkata pulled off Musana who had struggled to assert his authority in the game bringing in former Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards winger Timonah Wanyonyi.

Nkata then made his second change in the 65th minute, bringing off Owusu for Mike Khamati and the former AFC Leopards hit man took just three minutes to assert his presence when he teed up Ndolo for the lone goal of the match from a deep Wanyonyi cross.

Tusker managed to hold on to the slender advantage and Batoto ba Mungu made it easier for them as they never exerted in as much pressure, save for Tiema’s chance in the 79th minute four yards out with a gaping goalmouth hitting the side netting.

Saturday results: Tusker FC 1 Sofapaka 0 (Machakos), Posta Rangers 0 Chemelil Sugar 1 (Nyayo), Sony Sugar 1 Thika United 0 (Awendo), Muhoroni Youth 1 AFC Leopards 0 (Moi Stadium); Sunday fixtures: Bandari FC v Mathare United (Mbaraki), Ushuru FC v Kakamega Homeboyz (Nyayo Stadium), Western Stima v Gor Mahia (Moi Stadium), Ulinzi Stars v City Stars (Afraha Stadium).