KCB 1 AFC Leopards 2
TABLE-topping AFC Leopards showed diversity in their game comfortably stepping up in the second half from a low first, to beat KCB 2-1 at the National Stadium on Wednesday night.
Previously seen as a side that goes off the mark straight from the whistle, Leopards were unable to do it this time. But what a sense of timing it was as they injected a different gear into their game when it called for it, and in the end subdue a KCB side that probably thought they had Leopards on the ropes.
SuperSport’s statistics for the” live” match had KCB well ahead in the first half at 64% against 46% but as KCB did not capitalise on their domination, there was a perfect platform for Leopards to re-focus in the second period.
Apart from turning the tables in possession, 59% to 41%, Leopards made the second half form book count.
Three minutes from the restart, Robert Syongo, Victor Ochieng’ and Mike Baraza made their raid result in a Baraza goal.
The turn of events seemed to severely affect KCB’s nerve and it was most negative when Mungai Kiongera had to be shown the red card in the 78th minute after verbal misconduct.
A minute later Leopards punished this; Baraza going for his second goal, via an audacious taking on of the KCB defence and beating it with a determined dribble before firing past ‘keeper Caleb Adola.
Victory, then, looked comfortably sealed for Leopards but KCB were to get a goal from the unlikeliest of sources. Ezekiel Odera, the bankers’ top scorer and one of the league’s best in 2010 had moved on account of that prowess to Gor Mahia last season but failed miserably ending up with no goal and hardly a starting place in Gor Mahia.
Odera returned to KCB this season, not guaranteed a place in the team, but now in the seventh match for the bankers he was to score in injury time.
Leopards went 21 Kenyan Premier League matches unbeaten, since losing to Gor Mahia [1-3] on July 24 last year. Coach Jan Koops has been at the helm during that period.
KCB - 22. Caleb Adola: 13. Bethuel Warambo, 3.Milton Milimo, 12. Joseph Apindi, 2.Dennis Omondi, 14. Michael Oyando (10. Ezekiel Odera, 70’), 7. Jacob Keli, 6, Elvis Ayany (captain), 18 Clifford Alwanga (15. Peter Wainaina, 62’), 5. Mungai Kiongera,11. Benjamin Chaka (30. Bernard Meki, 57’)
Reserves not used - 1. Sammy Okinda, Gk; 25. Emmanuel Olupot, 23. Pius Andriano, 20. Geoffrey Maina
Scorer - 10. Ezekiel Odera (90+)
Coach - James Omondi
AFC LEOPARDS - 1. Patrick Matasi: 5. Edwin Wafula, 26. Robert Syongo, 17. Jonas Nahimana, 40. Eric Masika, 10. Charles Okwemba, 4. Martin Imbalambala (captain),18. Salim “Kinje” Ramadhan (7. Oscar Kadenge, 70’), 34. Victor Ochieng’, 9. Allan Wanga, 11. Mike Baraza
Reserves not used - 19. Barnabas Tiema, Gk; 12. Augustine Etemesi, 50. Jimmy Bageya, 15. Francis Chinjili, 23. Abraham Cokie
Scorer - 11. Mike Baraza (48’, 79’)
Coach - Jan Koops [The Netherlands]
* * * *
Referee - Anthony Ogwayo
Assistant ref - Hassan Omondi
Reserve ref - Haji Adede
Match commissioner - Hezbon Mbogo
RESULTS & FIXTURES:
Sofapaka 3-2 Ulinzi Stars
KCB 1-2 AFC Leopards
3.00pm: (9)Western Stima v (11)Sony Sugar [Bukhungu, Kakamega]
3.00pm: (3)Chemelil Sugar v (2)Sofapaka [Chemelil]
3.00pm: (8)Karuturi Sports v (5)Thika United [Karuturi] * “live” on SuperSport 9East
3.00pm: (7)Muhoroni Youth v (13)Rangers [Muhoroni]
3.00pm: (16) Nairobi City Stars v (14)Oserian [Hope Centre]
3.00pm: (10)Ulinzi Stars v (4)Tusker [Afraha] * “live” on SuperSport 9East
Postponed: Gor Mahia v AFC Leopards [“KPL Top 8”]
7.00pm: Tusker v Rangers, “KPL Top 8” [National Stadium] * “live “on SuperSport 9East
3.00pm: (12)Gor Mahia v (15)Mathare United [City Stadium]