Leopards avenged the 3-1 loss in the first leg to Sofapaka by winning 3-1 last night.
MichezoAfrika had the following story by John Munene
A revamped AFC Leopards reversed a first leg 3-1 defeat to emerge winners in the second leg match against Sofapaka .The entertaining fast paced Kenyan Premier League match was played at Nyayo stadium on Wednesday and served as a sweet revenge after AFC had fallen by a similar margin in the first leg encounter.
AFC Leopards got off to a flying start after Oscar Kadenge lobbed past Sofapaka keeper Duncan Ochieng for an early goal after Martin Imbalambala had singled him upfront with a long ball. The goal that came 50 seconds after center referee had blown the kick-off whistle is a sure contender for the fastest KPL goal this season.
Dodo Kayombo equalized for Sofapaka ten minutes later with a powerful header from a Titus Mulama's free kick. The goal seemed to re-energize Batoto ba Mungu who showed signs of clicking specially in the midfield. Fit again Anthony Kimani combined well with late inclusion Humphrey Mieno. Mieno was drafted into the squad after defense kingpin Edgar "Fighter" was suddenly taken ill before kickoff.
In the 18th minute, a careless Sofapaka keeper Duncan Ochieng fabled when he lazily threw the ball to Dodo Kayombo. Sensing the keeper was off his line, Mike Baraza gave AFC the lead again after he outwitted Dodo Kayombo , pounced on the loose ball and drilled it into an empty net .The halftime whistle blew with AFC leopards leading 2-1
After the break, Sofapaka slowly started dominating proceedings but it was evident they were missing lethal striker John Baraza up front as nothing much came out of their blunt attacking line-up. On form Oscar Kadenge had a great chance to extend AFC Leopards from a good Mike Baraza kick but missed the target again.
In the 69th minute, Humprey Mieno came close to equalizing but AFC custodian Patrick Matasi parried the shot for a corner. Another quick attack by Batoto ba Mungu ended up in an offside flag for Anthony Keymani.
Dutch Coach Jans Koops’ tactical prowess then came into full light as his substitute, Laurent Tumba who had come on for Emmanuel Tostao headed home the third goal with eight minutes to the end to send the blue army into wild celebrations.
Center referee Daniel Githaka was forced to stop the match briefly to ensure all fires lit by the joyful AFC Leopards crowd had been put off. The crowd quickly obliged thus allowing the match to go on.
AFC custodian Patrick Matasia blocked Francis Ouma's shot and again prevented an absent John Onami from grabbing an injury minute goal for Batoto ba Mungu.
After six minutes of added time, the match ended 3-1 in favor of the hosts as Kimanzi walked back into the dressing room with head burrowed in his hands as the league is getting tough on his boys.
KenyanStar had this story by Timothy Olobulu
AFC leopards were on cloud nine after a well deserved 3-1 win over Sofapaka in an entertaining Kenya Premier League fixture played at the Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday evening. As early as the 3rd minute, Oscar Kadenge had already shaken the net even before the game could take its cool with Sofapaka trying to get their feet into the game.
After good play from midfield involving Bernard Mang’oli and Martin Imbalambala, Kadenge pounced on the ball from the right wing, raced down Thomas Wanyama before unleashing the shot from the wing which Sofapaka keeper Duncan Ochieng had mistaked for a cross.
Sofapaka seemed to have finally found their footing when Dodo Kayombo headed in at the 9th minute from the far post after Titus Mulama’s free kick. However, Sofapaka’s leaking defense which had an unusual pairing of Dodo Kayombo and Mudde Musa gave up another goal just eight minutes after scoring.
Lethal striker Mike Barasa pounced on an intended pass to Dodo Kayombo from Duncan Ochieng before lobbing it past Ochieng as he raced to amend the mess. With the goal, AFC looked to be the more commanding side of the game with Salim Kinje, Bernard Mang’oli and Charles Okwemba knitting up a powerful combination from midfield.
Just a minute later, the now porous Sofapaka defense almost conceded another goal in the same manner but this time round Ochieng was more swift, cutting out the ball from Emmanuel Tostao’s feet.
Leopard’s defensive pairing of Martin Imbalambala and Jonas Naimana created a “twin tower”, cutting out all Sofapaka’s attacks from the air and on the ground. With Jonas and Imbalambala reading Sofapaka’s mode of deep cross attacks, Batoto Ba Munu saw all their efforts being thwarted with Keeper Patrick Matasi also keen with his jumps.
Leopards manage to control the game and held on to the lead until half time.
Come the second half, SDofapaka tried to inject some pace into the game with the aim of netting an equalizer and hopefully find the winner. 25 minutes from the restart, Humphrey Mieno making a comeback to the team with his Club Africainne move shelved for December, had a chance denied by Matasi when he lutched onto a cross from the right.
Coach Francis Kimanzi decided to bring in Patrick Kagogo and Francis Ouma in a bid to add strength to the attack but this did not work out. AFC continued with their domination of the match and only luck separated them from stretching the lead.
Ingwe’s icing on the cake was set up by former Sofapaka striker Laurent Tumba who headed in with 78 minutes on the clock from a Charles Okwemba corner. Tumba did not celebrate much the goal, being scored against his former bosses but only raised his arms up in an apparent “thank you” to the one above.
Leopards managed to hold on to the lead until the final whistle and it was all song and dance as players, fans and team officials celebrated the all important win. The win now sees Leopards revenge on the 3-1 thrashing they were handed by Sofapaka in the first leg.
Leopards now have 26 points out of 20 matches and now move to tenth position while Sofapaka remain un moved at 6th with 30 points. AFC will next meet City Stars in Nairobi while Sofapaka will be preparing for the long trip to Mombasa for the Congo date.
AFC Leopards recorded a stunning 3-1 win over Sofapaka on Wednesday night, a complete reversal of the score by which Sofapaka won in their first Kenyan Premier League meeting of the season at the same National Stadium on June 29.
Oscar Kadenge, Mike Baraza and second half substitute Laurent Tumba completed the rout for Leopards, Sofapaka’s consolation being Dodo Kayombo’s equalizer at 1-1 on the 12th minute.
Sofapaka buried their faces in their hands at the end of a night coach Francis surely realising lack of ability at goalkeeping and that his team suffered from positional changes forced by recent departures and injuries.
Duncan Ochieng’ was stunned by a first minute shot from the right flank that flew over and dipped into the net. Oscar Kadenge delivered the killer blow after a lightning raid built from mid-pitch to Bernard Mangoli who put Kadenge through.
But more alert ‘keepers would have seen Kadenge’s run-up and positioned themselves well. Ochieng’ evidently over the traditional weight he was as a top goalie a couple of seasons ago, was to prove a liability when he gave away the ball that led to Leopards second -- in the 17th minute – after Sofapaka had equalized. He passed the ball to Kayombo just outside the 18-yard area when the defender had Baraza rushing in. The striker dispossessed the Sofapaka man to plant the ball into an empty net.
When Sofapaka defended a 82nd minute free kick from outside the box, Ochieng’ was again in no man’s land when Tumba headed in the goal that signaled no return for Sofapaka.
Kayombo’s goal for Sofapaka came off a free kick floated by Titus Mulama from 30 metres and the Congolese import heading hard past Leopards ‘keeper Patrick Matasia.
There was a last minute pull-out from the Sofapaka defence by Harambee Stars lynchpin Edgar “Fighter” Ochieng’. Including the recent departure to Europe by another central defender and Sofapaka skipper James Situma, the team’s backline was a makeshift that had even drafted in midfielder Musa Mudde at full-back. Up front, lethal striker John Baraza was also away sick.
With But while there was a pinch of luck in all their three goals, there would be no taking away anything from a spirited and hard working Leopards who followed up their strong showing during a 0-0 draw with Tanzania giants, Simba, in a friendly on Saturday in Arusha.
AFC LEOPARDS - 1. Patrick Matasi: 5. Edwin Baraza, 24. Collins Kisuya, 4. Martin Imbalambala, 17. Jonas Nahimana, 22. Bernard Mangoli, 27. Oscar Kadenge (30. Samuel “Misse” Mwangi, 88’), 21. Emmanuel Tostao (8. Laurent Tumba, 66’), 18. Salim Kinje Khamis (6. Nicholas Muyoti, 49’), 10. Charles Okwemba (captain), 11. Mike Baraza
Reserves not used - 34. Abel Omuhaya, Gk; 26. Robert Syongoh, 14. Silas Aluvisia, 7. Brian Masiolo
Scorers - 27. Oscar Kadenge (1’), 11. Mike Baraza (17’), 8. Laurent Tumba (82’)
Coach – Jan Koops [The Netherlands]
SOFAPAKA - 39. Duncan Ochieng’: 8. Dodo Kayombo, 7. Thomas Wanyama (18. Francis Ouma, 71’), 25. Musa Mudde, 20. Humphrey Ochieng' Mieno, 11. Anthony Kimani, 9. Bob Mugalia, 21. John Njoroge, 22. Heretier Luvualu (10. Patrick Kagogo, 57’), 23. Titus Mulama (captain), 19. John Onami
Reserves - 28. Pascal Penda, Gk; 15. Kilonzo Tumba, 17. Eli Asieche, 30. Joseph Nyaga, 16. Collins Omogo
Scorer - 8. Dodo Kayombo (12’)
Coach - Francis Kimanzi
Referee - Isaac Ochieng’ Assistant ref - David Otianga Asst ref - Oliver Ouma Reserve ref - Haji Adede Match commissioner - Daniel Githaka
AFC Leopards have leapt off position 12 in the 16 team Kenyan Premier League log after a deserved 3-1 win clawing of 2009 Champions Sofapaka. Leopards got to the perfect start of the game when, just after the start, defender Martin Imbalambala sent a ball upfront that found former Ulinzi striker Mike Baraza. On the turn Baraza sent it to the right to feed June acquisition Oscar Kadenge. Kadenge’s cross into the box sailed above a spring boarding Duncan Ochieng and within the first minute Leopards was 1-0 up. Sofapaka drew level 11 minutes later when skipper on the day Titus Mulama sent forward a left footed free kick from 30 yards. The floated ball was met by a speeding Sofapaka central defender Dodo Kayombo who out jumped the entire Leopards defense to send in a powerful header past keeper Patrick Matasi. Leopards were back in front just five minutes later when master of half chances Mike Baraza did just that – capitalised on a half chance. On 17 minutes, last man Kayombo miscued a kick and from the blind side Baraza appeared, got the ball and sent it goal wards from the edge of the box. An ill positioned Duncan Ochieng fluffed the ball as it rolled into the net for Leopard's second. The goal was the ninth in the league for Baraza who now ties Moses Arita of Thika United atop the scorer’s charts. A tactical Leopards’ playing purposeful football could have gone 3-1 up on 35 minutes had Emmanuel Tostao taken his chance well. Baraza got the ball to Tostao but from the left, his feeble shot was well taken care off by seasoned keeper Ochieng. Minute’s later right back Thomas Wanyama of Sofapaka delivered a high ball into the box but Humphrey Mieno and John Onami who were unmarked in the box were both caught offside.It could have been worse for Sofapaka in the 41st minute when makeshift central defender Musa Mudde, naturally a midfielder, had a back pass intercepted by Tostao but an advancing Ochieng cut out the danger. Leopards consolidated their defense when early in the second half coach Jan Koops brought in Nicholas Muyoti to take up the spoilers role. The former skipper came in for Salim Kinje on 49 minutes. Sofapaka also got in Patrick Kagogo for Heritier Luvualu on 57 minutes as Coach Francis Kimanzi hoped to improve his offense.On 62 minutes, a lethal Mike Baraza on the right wing sent a long ball across to advancing Kadenge on the left but his shot to the near post was well arrested by Ochieng. Mieno, who returned from Tunisia this past Saturday, had the best chance to draw batoto ba mungu level but his shot was parried upward for a corner by Leopards keeper Matasi. Wanyama delivered a floated ball into the box which was knocked on backwards to Mieno by Bob Mugalia. On 72 minutes, former Sofapaka striker Laurent Tumba from the left picked up a loose Kadenge in the open but the former Tusker striker, to his own surprise, saw his shot fly past the left upright when it looked easier to score.But Tumba, who replaced Tostao on 66 minutes, got a chance of his own to score when he capitalised on no defending from Sofapaka's shaky defense to nod in a corner kick in the 82 minute. Tumba’s goal made it 3-1, a score that reversed the first leg loss for Leopards to Sofapaka. Kimanzi’s tactical addition of Francis Ouma for Thomas Wanyama on 71 minutes did not result in much as Sofapaka desperately chased the goals but got none. The game ground to a halt after six minutes of added time after the regulation 90. With the win, Leopards moves up to tenth and on 26 points in 20 games as Sofapaka stalls at sixth spot with 30 points.
Supersport has the story by James Wokabi that starts: