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Leopards unbeaten run broken by Tusker

By | April 22nd 2012

By Ernest Ndunda, Ben Ahenda and James Waindi

Reigning champions Tusker FC shattered AFC Leopards’ unbeaten run after they handed them a 2-0 drubbing in a Kenyan Premier League match at the Mbaraki Sports Club, Mombasa.

Despite the defeat, Leopards are perched on top with 26 points, but Sofapaka are in good position to trim the gap to three points should they win Sunday’s match against Thika United in Thika.

Leopards failed in all departments with their midfield completely tame, thus allowing Tusker to comfortably take charge.

Tusker goalkeeper Boniface Oluoch (left) beats AFC Leopards’ Victor Ochieng’ to the ball during the Kenyan Premier League match at the Mbaraki Sports Ground in Mombasa Saturday. Tusker won 2-0. [Photo:Omondi Onyango/Standard]

The Ingwe side should thank their goalkeeper Patrick Matasi, who worked overtime to contain the marauding Tusker striking force marshaled by Paul Were and Joseph Emeka.

AFC Leopards fans mistook Allan Wanga’s sixth side-netting shot, but centre referee Richard Obare stood firm and play resumed.

After scoreless draw, Tusker were awarded a corner kick, which was taken by Peter Opiyo before it was well connected by Brian Mandela. Jonas Nahimana of AFC Leopards deflected it in an attempt to clear it in the 57th minute for the first goal.

Tusker benched Paul Were, Kenneth Wendo and Joseph Emeka for Luke Ochieng’, Fredrick Onyango, and Andrew Murunga while AFC Leopards rested Jimmy Bageya, Bernard Mangoli, and Allan Wanga for Laurent Tumba, Brian Masiolo and Oscar Kadenge.

Tusker put the icing on the cake with the second goal, courtesy of Ochieng’ Luke, whose throw-in was pushed into the net by keeper Matasi.

Last season, Tusker hit AFC Leopards 2-0 and 2-1 in both legs.

In Nakuru, Ulinzi Stars defeated Gor Mahia by a solitary goal in a fast and tension-packed KPL match at Afraha Stadium, Nakuru.

Striker Steve Waruru released a powerful drive from an indirect free kick taken after an infringement on overlapping defender Geoffrey Kokoyo in the 43rd minute.

Gor who enjoyed a good ball possession in most of the first half failed to convert any of the opportunities that came their way as Kevin Omondi missed one in the 33rd minute.

Gor were denied what looked like a genuine penalty in the 68th minute after an Ulinzi defender handled in the box but the referee waved play on.

The decision infuriated Gor fans who maintained their peace.

Gor coach Zdravko Logarusic complained of biased officiating and took note of the penalty that could have made all the difference.

The same sentiments were shared by his deputy Bobby Ogolla who said his were strikers were penalised by dubious off sides.

Ulinzi coach Sammy Simiyu dedicated the victory to his striker Anthony Nderitu who wedded in a colourful ceremony at the weekend.

At the Nairobi City Stadium, Allan Otindo scored a brace as Karuturi Sports came from behind to beat KCB 2-1 in an entertaining match.

Western Stima also picked a point against a 10-man Mathare United in another match played at the City Stadium after they played to a thrilling barren draw.

In the first match, KCB had a dream start when Clifford Alwanga scored for them in the fifth minute with a close range header after a goal-mouth melee to stun the visitors who had entered the match as under dogs on paper.

KCB coach had started with three strikers, Alwanga, Jacob Keli and Ezekiel Odero in an effort to kill off their opponents early in the match, but as the match progressed, they found the going tough and Karuturi found their footing in the match.

Otindo leveled the scores for the flower men in the 15th minute with a cracker against the run of play and they could have gone ahead in the 35th minute when John ‘Kangi’ Mwangi blasted the ball wide from close range after being feeded by Geoffrey Musebe.

Mwangi made up for his earlier miss when he set up Otindo for the second goal in the 42nd minute with a defense-splitting cross.

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