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
Cristiano Ronaldo statue sparks social media laughs

When the island of Madeira on Wednesday renamed its airport in honor of its hometown hero Cristiano Ronaldo, all eyes were expected to be on the four-time world player of the year who is adored not only for his soccer skills but also his model looks.

Argentine FA president to get Messi ban reduced

The Argentine FA, lacking proper leadership since 2015 and fearful its national team might not reach the World Cup finals without banned captain Lionel Messi, elected a third-tier club chairman and former road sweeper as its president on Wednesday.

Arsenal future 'not sorted completely'

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his future was "not sorted completely" on Thursday as he ducked another opportunity to make an announcement about what he intends to do.

Russia-bound Brazil

When Tite found out the Brazil team he has coached back from the abyss had become the first to qualify for the 2018 WorldCup, he gave thanks to God.

Chicago for World Cup? Question bemuses Schweinsteiger

An unexpected question about the possibility of Chicago Fire winning the World Cup wrong footed Bastian Schweinsteiger as the German star was formally unveiled to Major League Soccer on Wednesday.

Everton seek rare derby win as European hopes grow

Everton will target a first victory over Liverpool in nearly seven years on Saturday knowing that if they succeed an unlikely pursuit of a top-four finish might start to be taken seriously.

More Stories
Russia-bound Brazil

When Tite found out the Brazil team he has coached back from the abyss had become the first to qualify for the 2018 WorldCup, he gave thanks to God.

Chicago for World Cup? Question bemuses Schweinsteiger

An unexpected question about the possibility of Chicago Fire winning the World Cup wrong footed Bastian Schweinsteiger as the German star was formally unveiled to Major League Soccer on Wednesday.

Everton seek rare derby win as European hopes grow

Everton will target a first victory over Liverpool in nearly seven years on Saturday knowing that if they succeed an unlikely pursuit of a top-four finish might start to be taken seriously.

Will Dutch Lion roar again? World Cup finalists face an uphill task to qualify for Russia 2018

Last year, their team absent from the European Championship, Dutch football fans sat drinking beer overlooking Marseille’s Old Port under an orange banner which read: “We only do World Cups.”

Ranieri still shocked by sacking

Former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri, who defied 5,000-1 odds to lead the team to a Premier League title last year, has said he is still stunned by his sacking last month.

Thank you God: Neymar stars as he guides his team to Russia 2018 tournament

Brazil became the first team to qualify for the World Cup on Tuesday night after beating Paraguay to clinch an eighth consecutive victory as Argentina’s campaign stumbled after the shock suspension of Lionel Messi.

Governor's Cup: Nairobi ward finals conclude

Sharp Boys earned a 1-0 win over Star Soccer Academy in Kamkunji as curtains came down on Nairobi Governor’s Cup football tournament ward finals at various grounds in Nairobi at the weekend.

Miheso protests to Fifa over threat

Former AFC Leopards winger Clifton Miheso has officially filed a complaint with the world governing body Fifa over his mistreatment by South African side Golden Arrows.

Ranieri speaks out on his sacking as Leicester City coach

Former Leicester City coach Claudio Ranieri has spoken out on his sacking as Leicester City coach.

Foul-mouthed Messi banned for four Argentina games

Barcelona star Lionel Messi was suspended for four Argentina matches by FIFA on Tuesday for swearing at an assistant referee, a ban that will see the striker miss out on decisive qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.