Elvis Rupia continued with his fine run of form scoring a second half hat-trick in a span twenty minutes as AFC Leopards overcame Sofapaka 3-0 in today's FKF-Premier League match at Kasarani Stadium.
The victory saw Leopards leapfrog KCB at the top of the table as Rupia took his goals tally to six from three matches.
"I'm grateful to my teammates for making my work easy. This is a huge win for us but we should not get carried away with it. If I win the golden boot well and good, but my focus is on helping the team win the matches," Rupia told Standard Sports.
At Nyayo Stadium, record Kenyan champions Gor Mahia got their title defence off to a winning start after beating Ulinzi Stars 1-0 at Nyayo National Stadium.
Rwandese born Jules Ulimwengu's second half goal on his debut for K'Ogalo is all that the champions needed to see off the soldiers.
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In Kisumu, Tusker bounced back from their slow start to the season to thrash Western Stima 5-2 as newcomers Bidco United forced Kariobangi Sharks to a 2-2 draw at Utalii Grounds.
Sofapaka could have taken an early lead in the third minute after Ellie Asieche forced a fine save from AFC Leopards goalkeeper Benjamin Ochan before the Ugandan came off his line to punch away Titus Achesa's dangerous cross from the left channel.
Leopards responded immediately but Rupia miscued his effort as both teams settled into the game.
Fabrice Mugheni then fouled Asieche in a promising position, but Lawrence Juma's shot the resulting free-kick straight at the goalkeeper before Robinson Kamura's free-kick also went into goalkeeper Kevin Omondi's hands on the opposite end.
Michael Kamaror came close to scoring for Batoto Ba Mungu in the 17th minute only for his effort at the edge of the box to hit the side netting before Michael Kibwage made a brilliant goal-line clearance to stop Rupia's shot.
Moments later, Omondi came off his line to stop Bienvenue Shaka from scoring before Peter Thiong'o unleashed a screamer only to be denied by the crossbar.
Rupia then fired Leopards in front with a deflected shot in the box two minutes into the second half after latching on Peter Thiong'o's pass. The goal came barely a minute after Baraza made his first substitution with Kepha Aswani replacing Jedinak Nana.
Sofapaka responded immediately but Ochan did well to parry away Asieche's corner kick before Rupia pounced on a pass in the box to double the lead in the 52nd minute.
Sammy Imbuye almost pulled a goal back for Sofapaka but his header was deflected for a fruitless corner.
Thiong'o, who was a thorn in Sofapaka's defence, then combined well with Rupia in the 65th minute for the former Nzoia and Wazito striker to score his third goal of the evening and sixth of the campaign.
Ten minutes later, Kamaror had a chance to score a consolation goal for the former champions but the striker blasted wide with the goalkeeper already off his line before AFC substitute Hansel Ochieng's long range effort hit the post.
In Kisumu, Tusker registered their first win of the season after thrashing hosts Western Stima 5-2 at Moi Stadium.
David Majak gave the brewers an 18th minute lead from the penalty spot before Stima keeper Odhiambo levelled the scores in the 24th minute also from the spot.
Majak then bagged his brace on the half hour mark to restore Tusker's lead before Odhiambo cancelled out the South Sudanese striker's effort for Stima to level the scores at 2-2 in the 37th minute.
Tusker would, however, end the half on a high after Jackson Macharia's brace under five minutes saw the visitors take a comfortable 4-2 lead at the breather.
In the second half, Tusker continued from where they left off with Eugene Asike's 57th-minute goal sealing the emphatic win for the brewers.
Support Kenyan football!????????
Elvis Rupia hat-trick hero????
Western Stima electrocuted????
K’Ogalo beat the soldiers????
FKF Premier League FT:
AFC Leopards 3-0 Sofapaka
Kariobangi Sharks 2-2 Bidco United
Gor Mahia 1-0 Ulinzi Stars
Western Stima 2-5 Tusker