By Gilbert Wandera and Kenan Miruka
AFC Leopards put up a five star performance crushing Thika United 5-0 in this Kenyan Premier League (KPL) match at Nyayo Stadium.
It was a marked improvement from the side’s barren draw against Rangers just two days ago and saw Leopards extend their lead at the top to eight points though they have played three more games than second-placed Tusker.
Charles Okwemba grabbed a hat-trick in the 15th, 41st and 82nd minutes while second half substitute Laurent Tumba scored another in the 88th minute, but after Simon Mbugua had scored an own goal in the 30th minute.
It was a performance that left Leopard’s coach Jaan Koops a happy man but insisted that Thika did not deserve to lose by such a huge margin.
“I am very happy with the five goals no doubt but today Thika played really well it is a pity that they had to concede so many goals,” he said.
For Thika it was the second heaviest defeat in a row after they had earlier gone down 4-1 to Sofapaka at home and stand in coach James Omondi admitted that their defending was below par.
“Today we conceded very easy goals and even did not use our chances. We had an opportunity in the first half to score and maybe that would have turned around the game for us,” he said.
Leopards outclassed their opponents with Bernard Mangoli and team captain Martin Imbalamaba dominating in midfield.
Leopard’s goalkeeper Patrick Matasi was hugely untroubled and the only real threat coming in the 38th minute through Moses Arita who headed wide with only the goalkeeper to beat.
All in all it was an un-expected performance from the visitors who were lucky to concede just five times.