LEOPARDS SHOP AT NAKUMATT: AFC too good for league newcomers

Coach AFC Stewart Hall and Paul Kiongera during KPL match at Thika Stadium on Sunday, March 19, 2017. [PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD]

Ghanaian import Gilbert Fiamenyo scored on his debut as AFC Leopards thrashed Nakumatt 3-0 in yesterday’s Kenyan Premier League at Thika County Stadium.

Substitute Marcelas Ingotsi and Paul Kiongera scored a goal each in a span of three minutes late in the game to end Leopards winless streak in season openers.

“It was a good start and I am happy with the boys’ performance. Many people were waiting to see what the new AFC team is made of, but I am glad they lived up to expectations. There was a lot of pressure, both on the players and the technical bench, but we are glad to have ended our winless jinx in the opening matches,” said AFC Leopards coach Stewart Hall.

Fiamenyo could have put AFC ahead in the second minute, but his header went over the bar before Bernard Mang'oli's attempt was blocked by Nakumatt's defence.

Duncan Otieno forced a fine save from Nakumatt goalkeeper Sammy Okinda in the 15th minute before Whyonne Isuza’s attempt went wide.

In the 30th minute, Nakumatt striker Ronald Musana's shot bounced off target as Okinda pulled off two brilliant saves from Mang'oli and his former KCB teammate, Kiongera.

But AFC’s persistence paid off in the 43rd minute when Fiamenyo beat Okinda with a diving header from Robinson Kamura’s free kick.

Bonface Akenga had an opportunity to draw level in the 55th minute but poor ball control in the area let the former Nairobi City Stars man down.

Kiongera then forced two fine saves in succession from Okinda before the unlucky former Simba striker was denied by the cross bar after a counter-attack.

Kepha Aswani could have returned to haunt his former club when his powerful surprise shot in the 74th minute was well dealt by Ian Otieno in Leopards' goal.

In the 84th minute Ingotsi received a pass from Kiongera, comfortably controlled before the youngster fired a shot past Okinda.

Kiongera finally got his name on the score sheet two minutes later with a beauty of a goal to secure a convincing win for Ingwe.

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