Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Leopards Draw KCB

KPL website report

AFC Leopards 1 KCB 1

Jacob Keli, after replacing Joseph Waweru early in the second half, gave KCB a deserved lead in the 75th minute at the Coca Cola Stadium.

But a never-say-die Leopards hit back with a beauty of a goal taken by Kenya trialist Sebastian Muchera in the 79th minute.

Leopards paid the prize for a sloppy approach by penalty taker Michael Njihia whose feeble shot at KCB 'keeper Daniel Oliech ricocheted off the right upright and the bankers' defenders took it out for a corner.

Gideon Ogude had handled a ball floated into the box from the left flank when referee Joseph Okiro pointed to the penalty spot.

Keli's and Muchera's goals summed up a match where the attacks dedicated themselves to the hunt for goals in an evenly matched contest of two sides with poor defensive capabilities.

Keli priced open the Leopards backline that has conceded the highest, 12 goals, total in the league and fired with the right foot from inside the box. Teddy Okumba the man taking the place of regular Charles Onyango in the Leopards' goal had no chance.

In retaliation Muchera latched on to a cross from the left flank and blasted past Daniel Oliech for KCB to concede their ninth goal in eight matches -- the third worst record in the 16-team log.

Bottom-placed Leopards, even though cursing Njihia's unacceptable casualness in penalty taking, would have been pleased with the result. But certainly not KCB who were left rooted to 13th place.

The small party of Leopards supporters displayed true faith in their team. Majority in their beloved blue and white hoops of their team danced to the terrace drum beats of the "isikuti"; sale of more replica shirts continued. They certainly looked like a fraternity pretty sure that their team will turn round their fortunes soon or later.

Leopards have not won in eight games but there was a vast improvement in their performance yesterday. The team was driven on by a hopeful midfield and among their supporters there is plenty of optimism that they will soon win decisive games.


AFC Leopards - 1. Teddy Okumba: 4. David Ochieng', 3. Collins Kisuya, 2. Robert Indimuli, 17. Arthur Weyula, 18. Tom Wango (15. Geoffrey Shikanda, 70'), 22. Ben Barasa, 5. Michael Njihia (20. Jesse Were, 80'), 13. Roy Syamba (10. Tafadzwa Dondo, 50'), 14. Sebastian Muchera, 9. Dennis Mukaisi

Reserves not used -- 16. Charles Onyango, 24. Humphrey Oyando, 11. Allan Ogal, 27. Lewis Sintakoi

Scorer - 14. Sebastian Muchera (79')

Coach - Eddie Manoah

KCB - 16. Daniel Oliech: 19. Joseph Kangata, 3. Godfrey Oduor, 25. Gideon Ogude, 13. Isaac Odhiambo, 14. Michael Oyando, 7. Kevin Kimani, 11. Humphrey Mieno, 18. Asuman Ngaywa, 12. Daniel Waweru (10. Godfrey Maina, 76'), 17. Joseph Waweru (9. Jacob Keli, 47')

Reserves not used - 1. Alex Mwangi, 5. William Mafawi, 23. Harrison Matu, 15. Kenneth Wendo, 8. Jonathan Mwaniki,

Scorer - 9. Jacob Keli (75')

Coach - Leonard Saleh

Referee - Joseph Okiro (Emali)

League Standings
1Western Stima8517
2Thika United8415
4City Stars8414
6Ulinzi Stars8312
8Sher Karuturi8210
10Mathare United829
11Chemelil Sugar829
12Red Berets829
15Gor Mahia827
16AFC Leopards804

Full Standings

Nation Report

AFC Leopards came back from a missed penalty and a goal down to hold KCB to a 1-1 draw at Coca-Cola National Stadium.

KCB defender Gideon Oguda handled the ball in the box in the 29th minute to give the home side a penalty.

The chance to take the lead, however, went begging after Michael Njehia, in flashy orange boots, placed his shot on the upright to be scrambled out of play by the KCB defence. Leopards were made to rue the missed chance in the 75th minute when, against the run of play, second half KCB substitute Jacob Keli stole between the defense to emphatically guide his shot home.

All looked wrapped up for the bankers before Harambee Stars call-up Sebastian Muchera, from nothing, turned on the edge of the box to exquisitely guide his shot beyond the desperate hands of Daniel Oluoch nine minutes before time.

Standard review

At Nairobi’s Coca-Cola Stadium, basement club AFC Leopards displayed the neat passage of play that brought them eleven league titles in years past but profligacy in front of goal denied them victory against a subdued KCB.

"It’s time my players stood up and converted chances that come their way," Edward Manoah said.

"I’m impressed with the way we are growing as a family since they are still a young team, but these are the kind of matches we should be winning if we hope to survive," Leopards coach, Manoah told FeverPitch.

Defensive lapse

Manoah sat perplexed when KCB keeper, Daniel Oluoch, pushed Michael Njihia’s 30th minute spot kick to the post before his side conceded in the 74th minute to substitute Jacob Keli after a defensive lapse.

"At the end, it was encouraging to see the boys recover from the goal to equalise and it shows there is spirit in the team and soon, we will start turning things around," Manoah charged as Leopards remained the only KPL team not to register a win this season.

Sun-Soaked Sunday

"Credit to Leopards, they played very well but I’m happy we got away with a point from a match we were second best. We will be back to our flowing football soon," KCB coach Leonard Saleh added.

He decried the standards of officiating in KPL matches, saying, "These referees are trying, but they are incompetent. KPL needs to resolve their problems with FKL so that quality referees can be allowed to handle league matches."

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