Leopards collapse, Sofapaka stay on course

By nesta kizito
Sep 14, 2021
  • Sofapaka's Mustafa Kasolo fights for the ball against Thika United Sammy Mejja.(Photo by Shutterspeed)

AFC Leopards chances of wresting the Kenyan Premier League title suffered a severe body blow after bogey team Chemelil Sugar obliterated them 3-1 at Mumias Sports Complex on Saturda.

It was a frustrating afternoon for coach Luc Eymael who was forced to effect significant changes in defence and midfield following the departure of key men Jonas Nahimana and Peter Opiyo.

Ingwe’s Achilles heel was in the defence where captain Martin Imbalambala was forced to fall back into to plug the gaping hole left by Rwandan international Nahimana.

It didn’t take long for the sugar millers to expose Ingwe’s soft underbelly when Jonathan Mwaniki gave them a fifth minute lead.

But Leopards clawed their way back into the match in the 21 minute courtesy of Edwin Seda strike to revive hopes for a possible turnaround.

Despite the introduction of Anthony Kimani shortly after the break to stabilise Ingwe’s crumbling defence, things went awry when Chemelil Sugar regained the advantage, this time through Victor Omondi who hit the target after Daniel Mutai had done all the spadework.

Jared Omwenga hammered the final in Leopards’ coffin with less 25 minutes remaining on the clock.

The loss left Leopards on 32 points but with just two points from a possible twelve in their last four matches coming in the wake of a 2-1 loss to Tusker, a 2-2 draw with bitter rivals and a 1-1 draw with City Stars.

Pressure on leaders

Ingwe are still at position six but they have equal points with Tusker who are seventh and Chemelil who moved one place up to eighth.

At Thika Municipal Stadium, Sofapaka kept the pressure on leaders Gor Mahia with a hard fought 3-2 win over hosts Thika United.

Mustapha Kasolo, Bernard Mang’oli and Anthony Kimani scored for the visitors while midfielder Wycliffe Opondo and skipper Dennis Odhiambo accounted for Thika’s goal.

Batoto ba Mungu, on 38 points, have now cut K’Ogalo’s lead to six points while Thika United remain fourth with 35 points, same as third-placed KCB who whipped City Stars 2-0 on Friday evening.

But with Gor Mahia due to play Tusker on Sunday in the weekend’s big fixture at City Stadium and fifth-placed Ulinzi Stars up against Bandari at Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa, there are bound to be changes among the top five positions, especially if results go in favour of the brewers and the soldiers.

At Kakamega’s Bukhungu Stadium, hosts Western Stima thrashed Muhoroni Youth 4-2 to move above City Stars to tenth place with 28 points.