Friday, July 29, 2011

Post Match: Western Stima (H)

Leopards beat Western Stima 1-0 with Mike Baraza scoring the winning goal. Baraza has scored in each of the last three matches he has played in.

Wilson Mathu of Futaa reports:-

AFC Leopards turned out the better side in the Western derby after winning the match against Western Stima at the Nyayo National Stadium in their mid-week game of the week. The lone goal of the match was scored by all-time prolific striker Mike Baraza.

AFC Leopards went for the attacking since early in the match as their trio set of strikers Mike Barasa, Jimmy Bageya and Salim Kinje gave a great performance. They combined well from the onset to produce the first goal in the second minute courtesy of Mike Barasa after a smartly worked out pass from Jimmy Bageya.

Western Stima staged their comeback through the midfield but the wounded Leopards kept it tight. Bageya was also fiery in the starting minutes displaying some wonderful flashes of individual brilliance. Baraza was at it again in the 15th minute but his weak right foot did him disservices by shooting wide from the edge of the area.

Mark Sirengo got the ball in as they tried to get an equalizer through Mark Sirengo in the 15th minute. First free kick of the game was in the 21st minute and was taken by Stima. Ali Bai collected the rebound but the shot on goal was weak and landed on the the Stima keeper.

Leopards dominated the midfield as they sort for the second but the stima players were up to task. Nice exchanges emanated from the Leopards midfield involving Benard Mangoli and Charles Okwemba as they outplayed their opponents in almost all departments. Mangoli appeared more comfortable in the middle spreading the ball in an attractive pattern.

Edwin Barasa was the culprit of the first yellow card in the 35th minute for a reckless tackle. In the 41st minute Bageya got a loose ball but his feeble pass to Oscar Kadenge is intercepted by the hawk eyed Stima defenders who saved the situation.

Mike Baraza slided a ball from the right flank in the dying minutes of the first half but the top scorer gave it a little too much energy and it bypassed a slow Bageya in the 45th minute.

The second half started on a high with a free kick given on the mouth of goal in the 46th minute but the Stima players shot straight to the keeper. Kadenge then missed an open chance in the box while Jimmy Bageya was wide open.

Bageya continuesd with the onslaught as Baraza missed from the action for a while. Oscar Kadenge lit up in the second half combining well with Baraza and Bageya to tear apart the Western Stima combination. They were however at it as in the 64th minute a Shimonyo onslaught is thwarted by Barbanus Tiema.

Benard Mangoli missed the best chance in the 72nd minute for the leopards in the second half after failing to finish a move that he initiated in the midfield having well beaten the goalkeeper. Confusion in the AFC Leopards defence handed Stima a chance but there is no one in the box to slot the goal moments later.

83rd minute Stima got a corner at the edge of the area but was headed away to safety by Leopards defenders. Stima did some last minute attacks as Tiema was put to extra task in the 89th minute. Mike Baraza was however injured and stretchered off the pitch after taking a knock from a rebound. He was taken straight to the waiting ambulance for further medical attention.

On MichezoAfrika, it is reported:-

A second minute goal from Mike Baraza gave AFC Leopards a deserved but slim 1-0 win over rivals Western Stima in an action packed Kenyan Premier League match played at the Nyayo Stadium on Thursday evening.

Hardly had the teams settled than lethal striker Mike Baraza scored from a left foot shot after a neat through pass from Jimmy Bageya to give AFC Leopards a solitary goal that stood to the end. Mark Sirengo’s effort to equalize for the visitors past the quarter hour mark hit the dead end.

A 41st minute careless tackle by Western Stima’s Edwin Barasa on a hard working Jimmy Bageya left the AFC Leopards fans crying for a penalty but their calls were ignored by center referee Damaris Kimani.

The second period saw Western Stima start strongly with a well-placed free kick but this didn’t last for long as AFC took over and dominated good spell of the proceedings. Good combination between Jimmy Bageya, Charles Okwemba,Mike Baraza and Oscar Kadenge provided a hard nut for the Bukhungu based Western Stima to crack.

AFC Leopards’ new signing Charles Okwemba was denied by Western Stima custodian David Juma after Mike Baraza had set him up through a back-heel. Bernand Mangoli had the best second half chance in the 72nd minute but his final shot missed the post by a whisker as Ingwe pushed upfront to seal off the match.

A defensive mix-up at AFC leopards defense almost gifted Western Stima an equalizer but keeper Bernard Tiema did well to deal with successive corner threats and a promising free kick from Kevin Amwayi.

The match ended with Western Stima still pushing for an equalizer much to the relief of the AFC fans and new coach Jan Koops. A cause of concern for Coach Koops was the injury sustained by Mike Baraza after a rebound ball hit him direct in the face. Baraza was stretched off and immediately whisked to a standby ambulance for further medical attention.

The win served as a revenge for Ingwe who lost their last match to Gor Mahia as Western Stima won the first leg fixture and pushed AFC two positions up in the KPL Standings to 10th with 22 points after 18 matches. Western Stima is 7th with 26 points after same number of matches.

In the post-match interview, Western Stima coach Henry Omino said his boys lacked lethal power upfront and termed AFC as deserving winners.

"We were caught flat footed early in the match. They deserved to win. We need to work on our finishing but we played well in the second half", Said Omino.

New AFC Coach Jans Koops was a happy man after earning three points which he said will serve as motivation for the next game.

“I feel very happy. This is motivation for the next game. It was not a good game but we have 3pts", Said an elated Koops.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pre Match: Western Stima (H)

Fresh from the 3-1 loss to Gor Mahia, Leopards get a chance to redeem themselves tonight in the only KPL match played this midweek.

Carol Radull of The Star predicts a 1-1 draw 

My Prediction: AFC 1—1 Stima

This is one of the forced derbys that I was talking about. Even though Leopards are a Nairobi team, this is known as the “Western” derby because both clubs draw the majority of their support from the Luhya community. So it’s a baby derby that will grow over the years. 

The interesting character in this match will be Francis Chinjili. He left Stima in June to join AFC and it will be interesting to see whether he scores against his old club. 

I have a lot of respect for Stima coach Henry Omino. He did his club proud by reaching the final of the Top 8 tournament and almost won it. 

Even if AFC beat Gor tomorrow, (sorry....) they will still be four points behind Stima. Stima were back to winning ways last weekend, beating Congo 1-0 after stumbling in the league for a few weeks. This will be an interesting game and something to look forward to after the high of tomorrow’s game.

Collins Okinyo of Superport predicts a 2-2 draw

The midweek encounter comes barely four days after Leopards’ 3-1 loss arch rivals Gor Mahia. 

AFC Leopards will be seeking to quickly forget the humiliation with a string performance against Western Stima.

The visitors are in good form having beaten Congo United 1-0 last week. They also boast of a good record against Leopards. They last lost to Ingwe in 2009 and this season, they won the first leg 1-0.

With three ex Stima players in the Leopards’ ranks, this match has the hall marks of a derby. Augustine Etemesi, Brian Masiolo and lately Francis Chinjili all crossed over from Stima to Leopards. 

New assistant coach Mickey Weche will also make his debut for |Ingwe teaming up with Dutchman Jan Koops who is the head coach

Prediction: AFC Leopards 2-2 W. Stima

Gilbert Wandera of The Standard offers the following piece

Humbled AFC Leopards take on Western Stima this evening in a Kenyan Premier League (KPL) fixture at Nyayo Stadium.

It has been a trying period for Leopards, who lost 3-1 at the weekend to arch-rivals Gor Mahia.

The loss to Gor led to the dismissal of Nick Yakhama as assistant coach. Yakhama joined the club in April and left after winning only once. His troubles began four weeks ago as the club went on a losing streak of six matches.

here was a brief respite with a 2-1 win over Thika United two weeks ago, but this was after Yakhama had been relegated to the position of assistant coach.

Then came last Sunday’s 3-1 loss and his position became untenable.

With the league getting into its second leg, it is important for Leopards to end their poor performance and today’s match provides them that opportunity.

Leopards goalkeeper Barnabas Tiema has had some great matches recently and will be key in keeping the score sheet clean at the end of 90 minutes today. 

Leopards will also need to avoid conceding an early goal, something they have not been able to do of late as they seem to suffer from a leaking defence.

Up front, Mike Barasa and Jimmy Bagaye (far right in picture above) will be relied on to score goals for Leopards this evening.

Speaking on the match, Western Stima coach Henry Omino has told his players to be wary of Leopards going into today’s fixture. The match will be shown live on SuperSport 9.

"It is going to be a challenging match. We cannot look down on Leopards since they lost to Gor Mahia on Sunday and will be keen to avenge that defeat," he said.

Omino, however, said his team has no injury worries ahead of the fixture and has welcomed back the return of two key players Kevin Oluoch and Vincent Oduor who have recovered.

"I think the match will be very exciting as both teams strive for the elusive three points at stake," he said.
Stima are seventh on the standings with 26 points and unlike Leopards have had a great time in the last four weeks.

Stima will be hoping to win against Leopards again after winning the first leg 1-0 in Kakamega during the first leg.

Dennis Machio of MichezoAfrika writes
AFC Leopards has made a few changes to its starting line up to face off a determined Western Stima side in a Western Province City derby slated for 7:00PM on Thursday at the Nyayo stadium.

Captain Nicholas Muyoti who was uninspirational last weekend against Gor Mahia will start on the bench alongside John Amboko and Francis Chinjili.

With Stima aware of the best way to curb Chinjili, AFC Leopards’ head coach Jans Koops has opted to start him on the bench. At the center pitch Charles Okwemba and Oscar Kadenge will command the spraying of balls to the forward liners including Mike Baraza and Jimmy Bageya.

This is a must win match for AFC Leopards that is precariously placed 12th on the league table with 19 points from 17 matches.

The team will be under a new technical management on Thursday after the dismissal of Nick Yakhama.Mickey Weche will for the first time in many years get back a spot on the team’s bench as the assistant coach just hours after he was unveiled by the team’s executive on Wednesday.

AFC Leopards Line Up
Barnabas Tiema, Edwin Barasa, Collins Kisuya, Martin Imbalambala, Nahimana Johnas Bernard Mang’oli, Oscar Kadenge, Bernard Mang’oli, Oscar Kadenge, Charles Okwemba, Mike Baraza, Salim Kinje, Jimmy Bageya.

Sub: Abel Omuhaya, Nicholas Muyoti, John Amboko, Samuel Mwangi, Silas Aluvisia, Brian Masiolo, Francis Chinjili.

Western Stima Line Up
David Juma, Victor Oduor, Jackson Saleh, George Wesah, Kevin Oluoch, Issac Odhiambo, Ali Bhai, Fred Shimoli, Wesle Kemboi, Fred Nyarombo, Mark Sirengo

Sub: Patrick Onyango, Dan Makachi, Kevin Serenge, Alloys Mangi, Mike Khaduli, Peter Okoyo, Dennis Onkangi

John Munene of MichezoAfrika also offers another story on the game.

Meanwhile, Mickey Weche has been appointed the Assistant Coach at Leopards.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Defence Rests

Leopards have been improving in their play but the team is being seriously let down by one department. The Defence! Whilst the rest of the playing unit seems to be improving with our midfield starting to have some punch and the striking force scoring an occasional goal, those efforts are undone when the defence rest on its laurels.

We analyze three matches: Sofapaka, Tusker and Gor Mahia to see some of the schoolboy errors that have cost us dearly.

Against Sofapaka the third goal saw John Baraza make a break. It was five Leopards players against four of Sofapaka.

Tiema points at the positioning. Our defender tries to cut the attack but too much space had been given to Baraza.

Baraza sells a dummy and the defender is left for dead. No covering and Baraza gets time to move in.

Baraza crosses.

Notice two defenders have been together the whole time as Mugalia now shoots, the ball having been stopped for him in the clearance

The second goal by Sofapaka had also seen the similar defensive lapses

The defender hits the ball on Njoroge


The ball bounces off Njoroge and hits the other Leopards defender

Tiema advances, but he has been let down already by the defenders

In the game against Tusker, the first goal was conceded after an unnecessary freekick near the corner flag. But the second goal was also comically conceded.
Yes, four defenders against three Tusker players...


The ball is floated in and there are three Ingwe defenders ahead of the Tusker strikers

Midenyo has made some ground and get to the ball ahead of all the three defenders chasing it

Against Gor Mahia, there was a massive howler in the defence when Lavatsa was first brought down just before he got into the D. The referee was not whistle-happy.

As Lavatsa lay on the floor, the defender collected the ball

Muyoti approaches and asks the defender to leave the ball

Muyoti inexplicably turns without any pressure and makes a back pass


Ochomo pounces

Ochomo smashes the post

But barely a minute later, the defence is split again... it is 4 against 3

Tiema moved to close the gap but he stod no chance

As for the second goal by Gor, Lavatsa expects a long ball

Paco is covering Lavatsa but lets the ball bounce

Big mistake. No one is covering Selenga. AFC had been attacking and everyone had poured forward.

The ball bounces and it is a sprint

Once he is in the D, it is curtains AFC

Tiema fluffs the catch

The one who shall not be named pounces...

It is time for the defence to stop resting and ball watching and start playing.