Thursday, November 17, 2011

Post Match: Ulinzi (H)

Leopards beat Ulinzi 1-0 courtesy of a second minute goal by Jonas Nahimana.

James Wokabi of Supersport reports:-

AFC Leopards placed a huge dent on Ulinzi Stars’ quest to defend their league title with a gritty 1-0 victory over the soldiers at Nyayo National Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Jonas Nahimana scored the all important goal in the second minute heading home a Charles Okwemba corner to give Leopards the points that saw them climb upto fourth on the log with 45 points. 

Three points behind league leaders Tusker but with two games in hand, the soldiers went into the game looking to close the gap on the brewers but were met by an obdurate Leopards side that simply refused to yield. 

The home side got off to the perfect start as Nahimana found space in the crowded penalty area to nod home Okwemba’s set piece past goalkeeper Jacktone Odhiambo as the Ulinzi defence went to sleep. 

The goal seemed to blow the wind out of Ulinzi’s sails and they were unable to get going for the rest of the half. 

Jimmy Bageya had a great chance to make it 2-0 on 36 minutes after a slick exchange of passes between Francis Chinjili and Salim Khamis created a chance for him but he shot straight at the keeper. 

Ulinzi were much better after the break but were unable to find create clear cut chances. The army men dominated possession but back to walls defending by Ingwe kept them at bay. 

If anything, Leopards had chances to go further ahead with Bageya seeing a well struck freekick saved by Odhiambo on 65 minutes. Seven minutes later, Bernard Mang’oli forced Odhiambo to another vital stop.

Despite late pressure, the soldiers could not find a way past as they succumbed to their second loss in five games. 

Ulinzi next play Chemelil on Saturday in their third last match of the season. 

Futaa reports through Patrick Korir about the blackout that temporarily halted the match:-
The second of a double header tie between AFC Leopards and Ulinzi Stars has had to be stopped temporarily as the lights went out just after nine minutes into the game that kicked off at 1930 hrs on Wednesday 16 November 2011 from the Nyayo National stadium.

The black out lasted 11 minutes causing anxiety to fans attending the game but returned 11 minutes later – at 1950 hrs to allow the game to continue. The game, unless hit by another blackout, is expected to conclude at 2130 hrs, or there about. 

The game kicked off soon after the first game on the day ended with Sofapaka squeezing past Chemelil Sugar 3-2 in a game that kicked off at 1730 hrs.

By the time of the blackout, AFC Leopards led the champs 1-0 courtesy of a first minute goal by defender Jonas Nahimana. 

The scenario of lights out is exactly what the match commissar of the Kenya – Seychelles 2014 World Cup pre-qualifier on Tuesday 15 November feared if the game had kicked off at 1800 hrs instead of 1600hrs under natural light. 

For lack of a functional generator at the stadium, the game had to kick off at its originally scheduled time of 1600 hrs. 

Dennis Machio of MichezoAfrika reports:-

A second minute goal by Jonas Naimana was enough for impressive AFC Leopards to shoot down defending Champions and this seasons Kenyan Premier League contenders Ulinzi Stars. The win lifts Ingwe to an enviable 4th slot on the league standings with 5 points after 29 matches. Gor Mahia is 5th with 44 points but have a match against Rangers on Thursday.

The loss to Ulinzi is disastrous to their title campaign as their chances of getting even with Tusker at the helm of the league table went up in flames. The soldiers however still have an edge since they have played a match less than current leaders Tusker. The result makes the mathematics at the top more interesting and pushes  the title contention to the wire.

The floodlit match on Wednesday had to be stopped temporarily as power went off at Nyayo Stadium but the issue was resolved thus allowing the match to proceed on smoothly. 

With only two minutes played Jonas Naimana headed in a Charles Okwemba corner to burrow in the lone goal of the match and scoop maximum points for a hard working Ingwe.

In the absence of lead striker Mike Baraza, Francis Chinjili and Jimmy Bageya had the duty of leading Ingwe’s firing machines.In the 34th minute the combination between the two almost resulted in a second but Bagaye misfired from close range as Ulinzi tumbled trying to find their footing.

Ulinzi tried a late comeback in the second half with better display than their hosts but it was AFC who almost got the second through Jimmy Bagaye and Bernard Mang’oli though both attempts were stopped by Jacktone Odhiambo in Ulinzi’s posts as Ingwe sneaked into the top territory with maximum points.

Coach Jans Wephukulu was a happy man after the match and chose to focus on celebrating the win rather than his team’s chances as they only have one fixture left to play this season against KCB. One thing is for sure for the Ingwe republicans-They will play in the next season’s Top 8 tournament thanks to the Dutchman's magic.

Supersport has another report on the Dutchman.

AFC Leopards coach Jan Koops said defensive organisation was key to their 1-0 victory over Ulinzi Stars on Wednesday.

Jonas Nahimana scored the winner as the 13 time league champions notched a hard fought win over the soldiers to complete a rare double over the soldiers and derail their title defence march.

“In the team meeting back at the hotel, we discussed about what to do when our opponent had the ball and how to keep our shape because we had the energy to keep up with them.”

“We also attacked with two strikers and tried to play one twos because even though they are a very strong side, Ulinzi do not like to keep the ball,” he added.

He would however not be drawn into whether the win had proved that Leopards will challenge for the title, “Let us first celebrate today, as to what will happen next year, we will wait to see.”

His Ulinzi counterpart Benjamin Nyangweso promised that they would bounce back from the setback.

“In football, you accept the results and today they have won. We still have three matches left and i believe we are still in the title hunt. This is just the way the game goes. Just because you lose today does not mean you can’t win the next game so we still have a chance.

The soldiers have three games to go to the end of the season. They face Chemelil in Nakuru on Saturday before travelling back to Nairobi to take on Sofapaka. Ulinzi will end their campaign with a home fixture against Rangers on November 26.

2Ulinzi Stars29159535201554
4Gor Mahia29121162722547
5AFC Leopards29136103627945
7Sony Sugar29125123032-241
8Chemelil Sugar29101093027340
10Thika United29115133538-338
11Western Stima2999112027-736
12Mathare United2971393132-134
13Karuturi Sports29810111824-634
15City Stars2977152433-928
16Congo United2955191851-3320

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