Stima shock Leopards as Sofapaka draw Muhoroni


AFC Leopards coach Robert Matano follows action in a past match. (PHOTO/File/Stafford Ondego/...
(FILE)AFC Leopards coach Robert Matano follows action in a past match. (PHOTO/File/Stafford Ondego/www.sportpicha.com

Western Stima handed Robert Matano his first defeat since his return at AFC Leopards, the visitors edging the 13-time champions 1-0 in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.

Ezekiel Otuoma made call the difference striking in the 18th minute, with Ingwe starting slowly in the first half dominated by the power men.

In an earlier match played at the same venue, Muhoroni Youth fought hard to earn a 1-1 draw against 2009 champions Sofapaka, as Thika United recorded a barren stalemate at Chemelil Sports Complex. Mathare United and Kakamega Homeboyz played to a 1-1 draw in Mumias.

Injured influential defender Robinson Kamura was missing in Robert Matano’s lineup, forcing a makeshift defense that stood tall to in the match but for the painful goal that extended Stima’s dominance over Ingwe in the topflight. Ugandan Musa Mudde was handed a left full back role while Salim Abdalla was drafted in the first team tom partner regulars Joshua Mawira and Dennis Shikayi.

Stima started with newly signed Ugandan import Villa Oromchan and Otuoma upfront, whose speed troubled Leopards’ defense with several attempts in the first half.

The Henry Omino coached side moment came when former Ulinzi Stars striker Ezekiel Otuoma made the most of a goal mouth melee to score his first goal for the visitors. Ingwe’s Vincent Oburu had a great chance to restore parity 10 minutes later, but his shot rattled the wood work Muarice Ojwang made a quick clearance.

“When we are coming to play Leopards we don’t just prepare, we thoroughly prepare. We knew we can get a point but winning away from home is indeed morale boosting.

“There has been a lot of pressure on us to deliver from the administration and I’m happy we are responding well. We are heading straight to prepare for the return match on Wednesday but we are at ease now,” Omino bullishly told.

His counterpart Matano blamed some players for not giving their best but warned Stima he will be going for maximum points in Kisumu in the midweek.

“I’m confident I will beat them. If they beat us at home why should we not hit back?

“I have never been beaten by any team in back to back matches, a record that won’t be broken by Stima,” Matano charged.

Immediately after the restart, Oburu was withdrawn for Samuel Ndung’u, and Matano’s men commanded proceedings although no goal would yield. Stima retreated back, leaving only substitute Daniel Masinde upfront employing counter attack tactics seeking to sink Ingwe further.

It was difficult for Stima to hold Leopards to the end, and, despite the loss, fans who spoke to Citizen Digital acknowledged the spirited fight especially in the second half.

 

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