Supersport has a report from Collins Okinyo
Imbem fires Leopards win at Karuturi
Congolese import Itubu Imbem made immediate impact on his comeback for AFC Leopards after a long injury layoff when he scored the solitary goal that ensured Leopards beat visiting Karuturi sports 1-0 at the Mumias complex.
Itubu received a sublime pass from l Emmanuel Tostao from deep in the midfield before making a beautiful run beating two defenders before unleashing an unstoppable drive that left Karuturi keeper Noah Ayuko hapless in goal to make the scores 1-0 in the 26th minute of the game.
However Leopards were spared their blushes in the 44th minute,when Karuturi's David Owino thumping header was saved off the line by Leopards defender Ediga Waudo with keeper Barnabas Tiema beaten to the ball.
Karuturi came back strongly in the second half pressing hard on Leopards defence but they could not level the scores with Jacob Omondi and Allan Otindo tightly marked .In the 62nd minute referee Damaris Kimani courted controversy as he gave Karuturi's Edward Mbwambi a straight red card on a dangerous foul on Emmanuel Tostao only to later rescind the decision and Issue Mbwabi with a yellow card withdrawing the red card in a match watched by hundreds of Leopards travelling fans.
In the post match interviews Karuturi coach James Nandwa told SuperSport.com "my finishing let me down but i am going to make amends"
Robert Matano on the other hand was elated "the boys have maintained the tempo and this was a good perfomance from them"
KPL has this report
AFC Leopards 1 Karuturi Sport 0
Itubu Imbem scored the solitary goal in the match Leopards took to the home of their sponsors, Mumias Sugar Company.
Former national under-17 team player, Emmanuel Tostao set Imbem in the 26th minute for the Congolese import to mark his return to the team from injury. Imbem possessed and rode from just after the midfield, taking on defenders before firing past Noah Ayuko in the Karuturi goal.
IngweFans has this report
An invigorated AFC Leopards side put on a spirited fight on Sunday to humble visiting Sher Karuturi by a solitary goal in a pulsating Kenya Premier League (KPL) match staged at Mumias Complex in Mumias. Buoyed by an ecstatic crowd a section of them having traveled all the way from Nairobi, Leopards opened fireworks and made their intentions of carrying the day clearly spelt out in the initial minutes of the encounter.
Points man Emmanuel Tostao was the first to break the ice for the match with a long range in the fifth minute but his challenge was well taken care of by former Kenya international in Karuturi goal Noah Ayuko. The blue shirts piled incessant pressure on the visitors keenly capitalizing on the uproar of initial moments from their psyched up fans and when an opportunity knocked their door in the 27th minute Congolese import Itubu Imbem converted a low range following Karuturi’s defensive profligacy.
The win was crucial for Leopards who lost to Karuturi by one goal last season at the same venue when Football Kenya Limited (FKL) had banned Nyayo and City Stadiums. Leopards had also not scored a goal against Karuturi sports in their last four metings.
David Owino could have leveled for Karuturi in the 37th minute but his header from a corner kick was parried away by Leopards custodian Barnabus Tiema.
Leopards' Defenders John Amboko, Edigar Waudo and captain Nicholas Muyoti built what one would liken to a wall that proved unbeatable for the opponents.
Match centre referee Damaris Kimani was on spotlight in the second half of the clash when she showed a red card to Karuturi’s Andrew Mbwabi for a clumsy tackle on a Leopards player but moments later nullified her action and instead yellow carded Leopard's skipper Nicholas Muyoti for his complaints.
Her action sparked fury among Leopards officials and fans who argued that he should have been sent out; however their cries did not yield much.
Coach Robert Matano praised his side for a polished display and promised to continue the streak. “I am pleased to win today, my boys played with determination and I hope that we will continue winning in upcoming matches” he said.
MichezoAfrika has this report
Am back! That is the message AFC Leopards’ Congolese striker Itubu Imbem sent to his fans when he fired home the winning goal against Karuturi sports in their fourth KPL match played at the Mumias Sports complex on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking to michezoafrika.com, Itubu thanked the fans in Mumias for turning out in large numbers and has promised more goals warning that AFC Leopards will stop at nothing but the title.
“The fans today were amazing. This was one of my best matches so far and it is good I came back with a goal and a win. I pray that God keeps me well and fit so I can continue with my good scoring form this season.” He said.
Imbem has been out of action since the beginning of the season owing to a jaw injury. In his first match, he collected a pass deep in the midfield from youthful Emmanuel Tostao, dribbled past two defenders and fired home from the edge of the eighteen yard box beyond a hapless Ayuko Noah in goal.
AFC Leopards cracked and almost gave away the lead at the stroke of half time in the 44th minute but they survived the scare with a goal line clearance following a David Owino’s header from a corner kick.
Referee Damaris Kimani from Nairobi raised eyebrows over some of her decisions with the conspicuous one being in the 65th minute when he red carded a Karuturi defender Edward Mbwabi for a dangerous foul on Tostao but later cancelled the same to a yellow card.
“This was a funny decision that puts her credentials to question. How can you red card a player for dangerous play then allow him back in play? Strange, I have never seen this in soccer.” Complained AFC Leopards’ team manager Bernad Onyango.
In another close attack by AFC Leopards, a Hugo Nzoka’s powerful header from a corner kick in the 72nd minute was saved by former Kenyan international Noah Ayuko right on the goal line with the fans already celebrating the second goal.
The win is the third consecutive victory for AFC Leopards under coach Matano and their next assignment against Western Stima in two weeks will be another cracker and acid test for the ever improving side.
“Our next assignment is a tough test for us in Bukhungu but we believe we have enough fans to push us to victory. Our injured players will be back to playing form and am not afraid, we shall prevail over the hot Stima boys.” Added team manager Bernard Onyango.
After the match AFC Leopards’ sponsors Mumias Sugar through their corporate affairs manager Pamela Lutta rewarded the players with 5 kilogrammes of sugar each as a gift from the company.