AFC Leopards on Saturday afternoon were held to a barren draw by their hosts Bandari FC at the Mbaraki stadium in a lively KPL fixture. Despite enjoying possession and dominating play, AFC Leopards lacked the finishing touch wasting open chances in both halves with Bandari keeper Ivo Mapunda forced to make four spectacular saves that saved Bandari the blushes.
Mapunda was on point to deny Charles Okwemba early in the match when he parried off the midfielder’s hard volley in the 12th minute and another mid in the second half.
Bandari also had an open chance in the 18th minute but Matasi was quick to deny the hosts with an easy collection of a low grass cutting drive by Eric Opondo.
With less power upfront and wasted chances, Jan Koops brought in the bulky Francis Chinjili for Emmanuel Tostao as the Leopard piled pressure on the port’s men in the second half trying to break the deadlock.
Bandari Coach Shedu also made substitutions to his side trying to find a break through by introducing Ali Wiza for Shaban Kahindi and Zuberi Kombo for Andrew Murunga.
In the end, there was nothing much to show by both sides as they went home on shared spoils.
The draw at home is not good news for Bandari who needed maximum points to extend their gap from the relegation zone. After their match, Bandari moved up to 18 points same as City Stars but the two teams are now separated by goal difference while Congo United despite collecting a vital win away to Gor Mahia remain rooted at the bottom.
Savvy Kenya blogged about her experience
Kenyanstar on the other hand had this report by Timothy Olobulu
AFC Leopards were forced to play to a 0-0 draw with Bandariu in a Kenya Premier League match played on Saturday afternoon at the Mbaraki Sports Club in Mombasa. Bandarie who had designed a heavily defensive play did littyle to create meaningful chances with Leopards enjoying possesion especially in midfield but frequently stopped in thye attack.
Bandari’s Tanzanian keeper Ivo Mapunda pulled off a sensational match saving Bandari in more then three dangerous situatons in the game. Charles Okwemba tested the keeper early in the 10th minute when he hit a half volley from a poorly defended long throw from Martin Imbalambala. The Tanzanian flexed himself before acrobatically tipping over Okwemba’s volley.
Bandaris’ best chance of the first half came in the 22nd minute when Eric Opondo riffled a low shot from outside the area but AFC keeper Patrick Matasi handled well.
In the second half, Ingwe came back with more determination to win the match and pressed their hosts from the start. Coach Jan Koops introduced experienced Francis Chinjili for Emmanuel Tostao to spice up things up front. Ten minutes from the restart, Okwemba was again at the thick of attack with his shot ion the half turn taking a deflection and dancing away inches from the goal.
With Coach Rishadi Shedu sensing that his Bandari side needed more than just a point from the match, he also decided to jig up his attack line bringing in Ali Wiza for Shaban Kahindi and a few minutes later bringing in Hamisi Zuberi Kombo for Andrew Murunga.
This however did little to change the termpo of the match as they kept almost 8 men behind the ball always. Keeper Iuvo Mapunda was called into action againin the 72nd minute, tipping away a chip from Okwemba agan, after a short corner taken between him and Bernard Mang’oli.
Ten minutes before referee Amos Ichingwa blew the final whistle, Jonas Naimana saw hios freekick at the edge of the 18yard box clinically saved by a fully stretched Mapunda. Leopards tried to push the game harder in the dying minutes trying to capitalize on an injury Mapunda had picked on his left shoulderr but the scores still remained the same.
AFC Coach Jan Koops was satisfied with the match anbd congratulated Bandari saying they played a very defensive and physical match which was a little bit over his players.
“We played well, I am not complaining. Bandari played a very defensive and physical game and that was where they almost beat us”. He also adds that he was impressed with Laurent Tumba who played as a left back for the first time with the absence of Collins Kisuya.
“He played very well and I was impressed with him”, he said.
His opposite number Rishadi Shedu was dissapointed that they defended instead of attacking but nevertheless was thankful for the point especially now facing relegation.
“I was not happy because we played alot of defensive play and at this point we just need to attack because the position we are at is not good. But we are fighting to the end”, he said.