BAPTISM BY FIRE: KPL new boys find going tough as Ingwe end jinx

MUHORONI YOUTH Maxwel Onyango (left) of Muhoroni Youth tackles Kariobangi Sharks goalkeeper Robert Mboya during their Kenya Premier League match at the Muhoroni stadium on March 19, 2017. [Photo: www.sportpicha.com]

AFC Leopards ended the jinx of not winning their Kenyan Premier League opening fixtures as new comers, save for Nzoia Sugar, suffered their second consecutive losses in the topflight football.

It was a difficult second round for Nakumatt, who lost 3-0 to Leopards, as reinstated Muhoroni Youth silenced Kariobangi Sharks by beating them 1-0, while 15-time champions Gor Mahia saw off Zoo Kericho by the same margin.

Nzoia United held Mathare United to a barren draw as Tusker’s stuttering start to the season continued after going down 2-0 to the youthful Thika United.

Tusker were a pale shadow of their former selves as the hosts tore them apart, inflicting a second loss in a row on the brewers.

But it was Leopards’ duo of Gilbert Fiamenyo and Marcelas Ingotsi who made a brilliant KPL debut, scoring a goal each in their convincing win over Nakumatt.

“Fiamenyo is very clever on the ball; he is a great target man. We are an energy and pressing team. He is great when we have the ball, but play 10-men when we lose possession,” AFC coach Stewart Hall said of Fiamenyo’s contribution.

“It is a tricky balancing act and that’s why I stick with Kiongera (Paul) because he does Fiamenyo’s job most of the time. It is a good combination.”

The pair joins Brian Otieno (2), Elvis Rupia, Edwin Wafula and Boniface Omondi (Nzoia United), Jean Baptiste (Gor Mahia), and David Owino (Mathare United) on the list of players who scored on debut for their clubs in round one.

Others are Sosthenes Idah (Thika United), Enock Agwanda (Bandari), and Mathew Odongo (Kariobangi Sharks).

The Leopards coach said they had a lot of pressure ahead of their opening match of the season.

“We left it late, but that’s the nature of football. Not having a game last weekend put a lot of pressure on us because everybody was waiting to see what the team looks like,” Hall said.

“And the fact that we have never won our first game of the season increased the pressure. But I tried hard to keep the pressure off the players,” said Hall.

He further defended his decision not to start with young players against Nakumatt.

“It wasn’t a game for the youngsters because there was a lot of pressure on it. Oburu (Vincent) was cleared just before the match but I couldn’t field him. I also benched Mao (Ibrahim) and brought in Ingotsi late in the game,” explained the Briton.

Next Story
LATEST STORIES
One lost, one to go for Bayern

Carlo Ancelotti insisted he is focused on wrapping up the Bundesliga before assessing how successful his first season at Bayern Munich has been following a shock German Cup semi-final defeat. April has been little short of a disaster for Ancelotti and Bayern. The German champions threw away a 2-1 lead at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night before going down 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund. That came a week after the Bavarian giants were dumped out of the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage by Real Madrid. Bayern remain on course for a fifth straight Bundesliga, though and Ancelotti refused to try summing up his first campaign in Munich with four league matches still to play and five more points needed to wrap up the title. “It’s too soon for that,” said Ancelotti. “We have to now make things clear in the championship (German league) as quickly as possible.” Javi Martinez and Mats Hummels had netted first-half goals for Bayern to cancel out Marco Reus’s early strike for

Tottenham trims Chelsea’s lead to 4 points

Tottenham trimmed Chelsea’s lead to four points again by edging past Crystal Palace 1-0 on Wednesday night, with Christian Eriksen clinching the north London team’s eighth successive Premier League win.

Has Marcelo finally found his mojo at Gor Mahia?

Has Gor Mahia coach Jose Marcelo finally got his mojo at the 15 Kenyan Premier League champions? The Brazilian has been under immense pressure since replacing double-winning coach Frank Nuttall a few months into the 2016 season.

Muluya cries foul over league fixtures

Players have been forced to bear the brunt of long exhaustive travels by road to honour fixtures spread in far-flung towns. With round eight fixtures slated for this weekend, most teams would have played three matches in a span of seven days.

Giants clash in volleyball tie: Pipeline, Prisons renew rivalry in Ndakaini

Fresh from continental assignments, Kenya Volleyball Federation League champions (Women’s) Kenya Pipeline will renew their rivalry with Prisons Kenya when they clash in the second leg of the national league at Ndakaini Stadium this morning.

Korir boosts Worlds quest with 44.67 seconds dash in 400m

Little-known US-based Emmanuel Korir longs to make Kenya’s squad to the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships set for London on August 4-12.

More Stories
One lost, one to go for Bayern

Carlo Ancelotti insisted he is focused on wrapping up the Bundesliga before assessing how successful his first season at Bayern Munich has been following a shock German Cup semi-final defeat. April has been little short of a disaster for Ancelotti and Bayern. The German champions threw away a 2-1 lead at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday night before going down 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund. That came a week after the Bavarian giants were dumped out of the Champions League at the quarterfinal stage by Real Madrid. Bayern remain on course for a fifth straight Bundesliga, though and Ancelotti refused to try summing up his first campaign in Munich with four league matches still to play and five more points needed to wrap up the title. “It’s too soon for that,” said Ancelotti. “We have to now make things clear in the championship (German league) as quickly as possible.” Javi Martinez and Mats Hummels had netted first-half goals for Bayern to cancel out Marco Reus’s early strike for

Tottenham trims Chelsea’s lead to 4 points

Tottenham trimmed Chelsea’s lead to four points again by edging past Crystal Palace 1-0 on Wednesday night, with Christian Eriksen clinching the north London team’s eighth successive Premier League win.

Has Marcelo finally found his mojo at Gor Mahia?

Has Gor Mahia coach Jose Marcelo finally got his mojo at the 15 Kenyan Premier League champions? The Brazilian has been under immense pressure since replacing double-winning coach Frank Nuttall a few months into the 2016 season.

Muluya cries foul over league fixtures

Players have been forced to bear the brunt of long exhaustive travels by road to honour fixtures spread in far-flung towns. With round eight fixtures slated for this weekend, most teams would have played three matches in a span of seven days.

Wenger can now breathe easy

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side knows exactly what they must do in the Champions League qualification race after watching them gain a 1-0 win over Leicester City.

Fate unites Arsene and ref Taylor

The referee pushed and labelled “dishonest” by Arsene Wenger will take charge of next month’s FA Cup final between the veteran French manager’s Arsenal side and London rivals Chelsea, the Football Association have announced.

Wenger row referee in charge of Arsenal-Chelsea FA Cup final

The referee pushed and labelled "dishonest" by Arsene Wenger will take charge of next month's FA Cup final between the veteran French manager's Arsenal side and London rivals Chelsea, the Football Association have announced.

Pochettino 'not my enemy', says Xavi

Barcelona great Xavi Hernandez insisted Thursday that Mauricio Pochettino was not his "enemy" and said he could even imagine the Tottenham boss one day becoming coach of the Catalan giants.

Pep Guardiola names Michael Carrick as the only Manchester United player who would have made his Barcelona side

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has hailed Marcus Rashford as 'perfect' and leapt to the defence of Paul Pogba ahead of tonight's Manchester derby .

Barcelona fans pay tribute to Messi for his 500 goals

Barcelona fans showed their love for Lionel Messi yesterday before Barcelona’s clash with Osasuna by displaying a banner thanking Messi for his 500 goals.